- 1/2 pound thickly sliced meaty bacon
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped thyme
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then crumble.
- In a large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer the onions to a plate. Rinse out the saucepan.
- Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover and keep hot over low heat. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add enough hot stock to cover the rice, about 1 1/2 cups, and stir constantly over moderate heat until the stock has been absorbed. Continue adding stock, about 1 1/2 cups at a time, and cook, stirring, until it has been completely absorbed before adding more. The rice is done when the grains are just tender and the sauce is creamy, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the onions, bacon, thyme and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the risotto into bowls and serve with additional Parmesan.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 up to 4 hours ahead.
This risotto is adapted from a recipe in Open House Cookbook, by Rachel Bay.
This creamy, slightly sweet risotto with smoky, salty bacon pairs best with whites that feature a touch of sweetness and reds that push their fruit ahead of their tannins. Joshua Wesson recommends a Riesling from Germany or a Grenache-Shiraz from Australia's Barossa Valley.