Tomato, bacon and spinach risotto

Tomato, bacon and spinach risotto
This risotto has a greater proportion of vegetables than normal risottos, giving it more texture, flavour, colour and of lots of extra nutrients.   You can use any vegetables you like – the more the better!
Serves 4
Time to make 45 minutes

1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 onion, finely chopped
100g lean bacon (more if you like)
3 cups mixed vegetables e.g. carrot, zucchini, peppers, pumpkin, mushrooms, corn, peas, leeks
1 1/4 cup arborio rice
4+ cups liquid – mostly stock but up to 1/2 cup of white wine may be used
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 bunch spinach, washed and chopped

1. In a large saucepan or deep frypan soften the onion and garlic for a few minutes in the oil.  Add the bacon and the vegetables and cook for a further few minutes.  Add rice and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring all the time
2. In the meantime, heat stock, tomatoes and chilli flakes together in a separate saucepan.
3.  If adding wine, add it to the rice and vegetables first i.e. before other liquid.  Cook for a minute or two until it is absorbed then add heated stock and tomato mixture, one ladel at a time, allowing it to nearly absorb between additions.
4.  When most of the liquid has been used add the spinach and continue cooking until the rice is just cooked (but not oversoft), adding more liquid as needed.  Add parmesan  and stir through.  Season to taste and serve topped with a little extra parmesan if you like

Risottos should be creamy, not dry and the rice should still have a little firmness in it while still tasting cooked.

Healthy habits – apply to other risottos
- use minimum amount of oil to fry vegetables and rice
- add LOTS of vegetables – different colours and varieties increase nutritional value
- if adding meat e.g. bacon, chicken, chorizo or salami, choose leanest possible varieties.

One thought on “Tomato, bacon and spinach risotto

  1. Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain rice. It is named after the town of Arborio, in the Po Valley, where it is grown. When cooked, the rounded grains are firm, creamy, and chewy, due to its higher amylopectin starch content;[1] thus, it has a starchy taste but blends well with other flavours. It is used to make risotto, although Carnaroli, Maratelli and Vialone Nano are sometimes used to prepare the dish. Arborio rice is also used for rice pudding..

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