Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Leek, Bacon and Pea Risotto - a new family favorite

image courtesy of Everyday Food
We discovered this recipe from an old copy of Everyday Food about a month ago and have fixed it several times since.  I'm not a big fan of cheese in general so I let everyone add there own Parmesan depending on personal preference.  We've also tried it with and without peas and the peas really make a difference so I highly recommend that you throw them in at the end.  Though I may not be a cheese fan, I do love me some thick, smoked bacon so I add an extra slice to the recipe - for the flavor.

Oh yeah, and I don't do the wine, not something I keep handy in the house.  I just use an extra cup of chicken stock.

I haven't fixed the whole recipe yet - cutting it in half is just perfect for our little family.  Only the grown-ups eat it anyway.

Serves 4
  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only
  • 12 cups (96 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into strips
  • 2 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas (optional)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Halve leeks lengthwise; rinse thoroughly. Pat dry; thinly slice. In a saucepan, bring broth to a simmer over medium. Meanwhile, in a large, straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium, stirring, until lightly browned but not crisp, 5 minutes. Add leeks; cook, stirring, until softened, 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add rice and cook, stirring, until translucent around edges, 1 minute.
  2. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until broth is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Repeat process, gradually adding broth, until rice is al dente and risotto is creamy (you may not need all the broth), about 35 minutes. Stir in peas (if using) after the final addition of broth.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in Parmesan. Cover and let stand 2 minutes. Season risotto with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Reserve half the risotto (about 4 cups) in refrigerator for risotto cakes. Serve remaining risotto with Parmesan.

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