I don't often make risotto and I'm not really sure why; it's easy, cheap, doesn't need too many ingredients, and is a great dump bin for all those half-forgotten remnants at the back of the fridge. I even find all that stirring really quite relaxing. Best of all the leftovers make a great filling for peppers or courgettes, lovely little cheese stuffed risotto cakes, and, spooned straight from the fridge the next day, a pretty great hangover cure.
This combination came about as I had the last of the wonderful smoked bacon from the Lower Hardres Farm Shop, together with the first of the fresh peas. I added a pinch of the Ewing's Spanish saffron too, for it's delicate flavour and bright, springlike hue.
Armed with a bunch of spring onions, found wilting at the back of the salad drawer, stock from a cube and a glass or two of vino blanco, to help sustain me while stirring I headed for the stove. And voila! Dinner in half and hour, and with plenty left over for the morning after...
Saffron Risotto with Bacon and Peas
Small Bunch of Spring Onions, chopped
3/4 Rashers Smoked Bacon, diced
400g Risotto Rice
1-1.5l Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Pinch of saffron (optional)
Couple of Large Handfuls of Shelled Fresh (or Frozen) Peas
Salt and Pepper
Grated Parmesan to Serve
-Put stock (and saffron if using) in a saucepan and simmer gently on back of hob.
-Heat a good glug of olive oil in a casserole, add bacon and fry gently until starting to brown.
-add spring onions and rice and continue to cook for another couple of minutes.
-Add a ladle of stock to the rice mixture and stir until the stock has evaporated
-Repeat with further ladles of stock until the rice is soft and creamy, with a little bite in the middle (about 20 minutes)
-Add peas and heat through (don't overcook, or they will turn unappetisingly grey instead of a vibrant green)
-Season and serve with plenty of Parmesan and olive oil