Bacon Mushroom Spinach Risotto


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Hi all– I’ve steered clear of risotto recipes, after reading about all the serious stirring and tending to the simmering rice.  It all seemed a little bit tedious.  But last week I finally broke down and gave it a try, in a lazy sort of way.  I did stir, but only between dashes to set the table make a salad, answer the phone…  And I think it came out just fine in spite of  my lack of careful, uninterrupted attention.   Gosh, how could rice, spinach, bacon and parmesan all cooked up together not taste good!

BACON MUSHROOM SPINACH RISOTTO
2 tab. olive oil
6 oz. mushrooms, cut in tidy bits
3 slices bacon, chopped to small chunks
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup uncooked Carnaroli or Arborio rice*
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup parmesan reggiano
2 cups spinach leaves, cut to slivers
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in the pan,  Brush the mushrooms clean, cut them up and drop them into the hot oil.  Cook them just about 1 minutes until they brown and soften a bit and remove them from the pan.  Wipe out the pan and put in the bacon.  Cook it unitl it’s well browned and take it out and add it to the mushrooms.  Then in the remaining bacon fat,  Cook the onions until they are soft. Next stir the rice into the pan until it is golden.  Add the garlic and thyme leaves.  Stir in the white wine and simmer, stirring now and then until it is absorbed.  Add the chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring it every few minutes until it is all absorbed (about 20 minutes total).  Then stir in the spinach and cook 3 or 4 minutes more Remove the pan from the hear and mix in the parmesan. bacon and mushrooms.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon it into shallow bowls and garnish with a twig of thyme.  Enjoy!

*I’d never heard of carnaroli rice– but at my grocer’s the Arborio was expensive (!) and they had a store brand bag of carnaroli.  It was cute and nubby, so I gave it a try.  It was just fine.