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Author Notes: Love BLTs; love risotto. When my tomatoes came in, I kept thinking
of combining the two passions; here's the dish using spinach
in place of lettuce. —Alyce Morgan
- 2 pieces bacon, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 4-5 cups warm chicken stock, low sodium
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves
- In a 4-5 quart heavy pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside, leaving bacon fat in the pot. Add butter and onions. Cook 4-5 minutes until onions are softened and add garlic. Cook one more minute. Add rice and stir. Cook for one minute more.
- Pour in white wine and raise heat a bit to medium-high. Sprinkle in a pinch of crushed red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. Cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until wine is nearly absorbed. Pour in two cups of chicken stock and cook about five minutes, stirring occasionally, until stock is absorbed. Repeat. Pour in last cup of stock (if needed) and/or cook until rice is somewhere between al dente and tender according to your tastes. Please relax about constantly stirring the risotto. Pour a glass of wine, turn on the music, and enjoy the time.
- Stir in tomatoes, Parmesan, spinach leaves, and reserved bacon. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. (As you eat this risotto, the heat will build in your mouth, so be careful about adding too much pepper.) Serve hot with steamed green vegetables (asparagus or green beans) and pass pepper grinder at table. Pour a grassy, cold Sancerre to drink.