Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this EASY and super versatile recipe for Risotto with Peas, Bacon, and Parmesan. With its creamy texture and rich flavours, this dish is a classic that never fails to satisfy. Whether you’re craving a cosy weeknight dinner or looking to impress guests, this risotto recipe has got you covered.
What we love about this recipe
This Risotto with peas, bacon and parmesan recipe is simply delicious and also incredible versatile. Once you understand the basics, you’ll have a blank canvas to play with, allowing you to easily tweak and customize this recipe into a variety of simple and delicious dinner ideas.
This recipe is truly one of those “last-minute, what’s-in-the-pantry” wonders that never fails to deliver on incredible flavour.
The basics of risotto
Understanding these easy basic steps below, will empower you to change this Risotto with peas, bacon and parmesan into many different recipes.
- Choose the right rice:
The most important ingredient for risotto is the rice. Choose a short-grain rice, such as Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano. It can absorb the liquid slowly and release starch, giving the dish its creamy texture.
- Toast the rice:
Before adding the liquid, toast the rice in a little bit of butter or oil. This will give the dish a nutty flavour and help to prevent the rice from becoming mushy.
- Use hot liquid:
It’s important to use hot liquid when making risotto. This will keep the cooking temperature consistent and prevent the rice from becoming too starchy or too mushy.
- Stir constantly:
To achieve a creamy texture, stir the rice constantly while adding the liquid. Only add more liquid once the previous liquid has been absorbed.
- Don’t overcook the rice:
The perfect risotto should have a slightly firm centre, known as “al dente”. Overcooking the rice will result in a mushy texture and the loss of the rice’s flavour.
- Add cheese and butter at the end:
Once the risotto is cooked, remove it from the heat. Add in grated Parmesan cheese and butter, stirring until fully melted and combined.
- Let it rest:
Let the risotto rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavours to meld and the dish to thicken slightly.
Convenient Kitchen tips and substitutes for this recipe
If you want to experiment with alternative ingredients in this recipe, here are a few suggestions to give your risotto a unique twist:
- Spinach: Instead of rocket leaves, you can use fresh spinach leaves. Simply replace the snow peas with an equal amount of spinach leaves. Add the spinach towards the end of the cooking process, stirring until wilted.
- Chicken: If you prefer a heartier risotto, you can incorporate cooked chicken into the dish. Cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs separately, then shred or chop them into bite-sized pieces. Add the cooked chicken when stirring in the peas, allowing it to warm through in the risotto.
- Mushrooms: For a rich and earthy flavour, substitute the snow peas with sliced mushrooms, such as cremini or shiitake. Sauté the mushrooms separately until they release their moisture and turn golden brown, then add them to the risotto during the final stages of cooking.
- Asparagus: Another excellent alternative to snow peas is fresh asparagus. Trim the woody ends and cut the asparagus into bite-sized pieces. Blanch them in boiling water for a couple of minutes until slightly tender, then add them to the risotto towards the end of cooking.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: For an added burst of tangy sweetness, chop sun-dried tomatoes and incorporate them into the risotto. Add them along with the peas and stir until heated through.
- Chorizo: Replace the bacon with an equal amount of chorizo, about 100 grams. Remove the casing from the chorizo and cut it into small cubes or slices.