Tomato and Bacon Risotto
with roasted pine nuts and honey glazed red peppers
A delightful mix of flavours all in one dish: smokey bacon, sweet peppers, nutty pine nuts, peppery rocket and salty parmesan. This recipe is a thrilling experience for your tastebuds. You may even be lucky enough to have some leftovers for lunch the next day.
Cut up your red peppers into long, thin strips. Place them in an ovenproof dish and drizzle them in oil, honey and chilli flakes. Season them with salt and pepper then place them in the oven for 30-45minutes at 180℃.
Chop up your onion and fry it in a large pot. Once they have turned a pale brown colour, add the chopped garlic. Fry for a few minutes, stirring continuously until both are lightly brown and caramelised.
Add the risotto rice and half of the stock to the pot. Stir so all the rice is covered in the stock. The key to making a good risotto is to keep feeding the rice with liquid and stirring it continuously so the rice does not stick to the pan. After 5 minutes, once the rice has absorbed all the stock, add the rest and continue to stir for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry or grill the bacon. I like my bacon crispy, however, you can cook it to your preference. Once it has been cooked leave it to the side.
The rice should have now absorbed most of the stock. Add half of the passata and keep stirring. After roughly 5 minutes, once this has boiled down, add the rest of the passata. The rice should be becoming softer as it absorbs all this liquid so don't be afraid to keep feeding it. Keep stirring for 10 minutes.
Once the passata has been absorbed, pour in the wine while stirring the rice. Keep stirring your rice until the liquid boils away. If the rice is still hard, add more stock until the rice is soft to eat.
Cut up the bacon into strips and stir it into the risotto. Add the oregano and basil and season to taste.
Place the pine nuts on a baking tray and gently roast them for 3-4 minutes. Once they are done stir them into the risotto.
Once the risotto is soft to eat and all the liquid has been absorbed it is ready to be served. Put a handful of rocket on top of each bowl of risotto and then place the roasted red peppers on top. Sprinkle grated parmesan over the mixture and drizzle on some balsamic glaze to add a sweet tang to the dish.