Risotto: Carbonara style

So on a windy night long long ago (Sunday) I had just returned from Iron Man 2 (V.Good) and was craving comfort food like a madwoman. I turned away from brownies in despair- they’re no comfort food. Hang on, I’ll give you a minute to reread that. It’s true.

And it came to me. Risotto. I knew there was Arborio rice downstairs from one of those shopping trips that I lumped everything I felt like into the trolley (was overflowing), but I knew we were painfully short on things that weren’t pasta or rice. But unthwarted, I crept downstairs at 11.45 and opened the fridge.. and came across a sad selection of foodstuffs. However, hidden at the back I saw a forgotten pack of rashers and was instantly struck by stroke of genius. Carbonara Risotto! (As endless supply of garlic, stock,  and parmesan). And I made it. And it was nice. Like really nice! I have a lovely easy carbonara recipe which I will post soonish-  the real non-cream type! But for now:

Here’s whatcha need:

Tsp butter, tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
Half an onion, finely diced
6-8 thick rashers, cut into pieces and fat cut off
300g arborio rice (risotto rice)
1 Vegetable stock cube & 1 Chicken stock cube (I used oxo- makes 200 ml of stock)
1.2 litres of water (you may need a little more/less depending on your rice and such)
A biteen of oregano
about a handful or 2 of good parmesan cheese.
Optional: 1 cup of cream (I left it out)

Here’s whatcha do:

Heat butter and oil in pan and put in your garlic onion. Cook over a light heat until just tender.

Add your rashers and fry until nicely cooked. You may want to pop your rashers, onion and garlic out on a plate and wash the salt off your pan or you’re risking a heart attack at this point. I did not do this and found it on the verge of too salty despite using very diluted stock. But it’s up to yourself!

Rinse your rice until water runs clear. You don’t want your risotto to be over starchy and thus over sticky!

Put the garlic, onion, rasher and rice back into your saucepan with another tsp of  and stir around and let the rice absorb the loveliness. Do that for about 3 minutes, and then here comes the patience needing part.

Make up your stock- I think the stock is overpowering in this recipe if you make it strong so I just used 2 oxo cubes in 1.2l of hot water. Even then it was quite a strong risotto!

So, stock at the ready- you need to put it in a cup at a time- NO MORE! Yes. I am adamant about this. Because that is the only way to make lovely risotto! You add a cup, stir it around until its absorbed or almost all absorbed, and then you add another cup, and you stir etc, and it goes on like this until your rice is just done i.e. has a light bite to it. You don’t want it to be gooey and sickly, you want it to be beautiful and not groggy looking!

Nexsht: Its time to add the good stuff: i.e. oregano and cheese, lovely lovely cheese. Pop it in stir it around. let it melt into the sauce as yummy lovely cheesy goodness. You may, if you reeeeeally wish, add cream here, right before you serve, but there’s no need, so don’t 🙂

Sin e! This is best served straight away with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan and a few pieces of crisp bacon on top. Enjoy. I did. You will..

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