Pea Risotto

Risotto is the king of italian food and puts fear in the hearts of even the most skilled cooks.
Why?
Because it’s got a bad rep as being notoriously tricky and time-consuming.

Ssh… Don’t tell anyone, but risotto is actually not very hard to make. All you need is a watchful eye.  IMG_7722-2

Ingredients for 2:
2 dls, or 0.8 cups of arborio rice
1 shallot
1 clove of garlic
1 dl, or 0.4 cups, of white wine
1 tablespoon of butter
2 dls, or 0.8 cups of frozen peas
2 slices of bacon
4 button mushrooms
1 liter of chicken stock
1 handful of grated parmesan

The most basic, and also most common kind of risotto is a pea risotto.
It also happens to be my favourite.
The best thing about this dish is that you almost always have all the ingredients in your house at all times. If you have an onion, rice and stock you can make risotto. Although some people will tell you that you can’t have it without parmesan, I will call those people snobs. Granted, parmesan takes a risotto from plain tastiness to excellence, it’s by no means a must.

So, start off by getting your stock in a pot on the stove. Put it on low heat and keep it warm. This will make sure your risotto cooks quicker. If the stock is cold, it will cool down your rice every time you pour it in. So, warm is key.
Chop up the garlic and onion finely and get it in a frying pan to soften them, on a medium heat, for 3-4 minutes.
Now it’s time to toss in your rice. Toast it off in the pan for about 2 minutes and then add the wine. Let that cook down and reduce, then stir in the butter.
At this point it’s time for your to start ladling in your stock, and ladle at a time. Keep your pan on a low-medium heat. You want the liquid to bubble slightly, but not boil. Every minute or so, gently give your rice a stir. Once the stock is absorbed, you can go ahead and add another ladle or so. Just enough to almost cover the rice.IMG_7703-2

At this point, if you’re smart you will have saved a bit of wine for yourself. Pour a glass and enjoy. Making a risotto means never leaving the stove and if you’re like me… You’ll also get a little bit bored.

IMG_7708-2

Now it’s time to crisp up the bacon and mushrooms!
Slice up the mushrooms and throw in a pan, sear the bacon and then put both to the side.
I used a bit of left over chorizo, which gives the risotto a wonderful kick of spice. You can experiment with any types of meats or mushrooms. IMG_7710-2

After 15-18 minutes, most of the stock from your pot should be gone and the rice should be a couple of minutes away from being done. Taste a few grains of rice and decide for yourself, make sure it suits your taste. Generally, when the rice is undercooked your can still see a white kernel in the middle of the grain. If that is gone, your rice is done.
Add your peas and cook for 2 minutes.
When the peas are nice, defrosted and beautifully green, it’s time to add the parmesan. What this will do is create the creaminess you want. Stir the cheese with a couple of tablespoons of stock for a minute or so.
Add freshly ground black pepper, and then you’re good to go!IMG_7712-2

Get your risotto in plates, put mushrooms and crispy bacon bits on the top.
Aaand… EAT!IMG_7718-2

There you go, that doesn’t sound to complicated right?
Try this recipe and you’ll never fear risotto again!

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