This asparagus, bacon and mushroom risotto is easy-to-make because there is less stirring involved but is sophisticated enough for a fancy-pants dinner party. (Jump directly to the recipe.)
My friends have OPINIONS. It’s always fascinating to ask a question on Facebook and have the comments come in. Occasionally it’s silence, but most of the time it’s a firehose of responses with people telling you EXACTLY HOW IT IS SUPPOSE TO BE. I shouldn’t be surprised, I’m the same way, with strong thoughts and feelings about everything. So it only goes to reason that the people I surround myself with would feel the same way as well.
The question I posted on my page was about risotto, specifically about methods of making risotto. I’m an old school traditionalist when it comes to making risotto. I pour a little liquid into the rice, stir a bit, wait for it to absorb and add more. But there are so many recipes and techniques out there that claim to be THE BEST EVER that I am was curious if they really are better. Instant Pot/Pressure cooker, bake in the oven, and the no-stir method all claim to create amazing risotto! Do they really result in better risotto or are they just easier?
In the end, most folks admitted that it was more ease than quality that made these recipes better. But a few folks cited how stirring constantly could result in releasing TOO much starch from the rice, causing the risotto to be gummy. A few mentioned how the adding most of the liquid in the beginning was their favorite method with a little bit of stirring in the end to produce the creamy signature starch. And though I really love the old-fashioned method of standing and stirring over the pan, I decided I might as well try something different with my risotto. And I wasn’t displeased with the end result. Creamy, savory and perfectly cooked, I might even been a convert to this method! Maybe.
Bacon, Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium leek, cleaned and chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided plus 1/2 cup more if necessary
- 1 pound sliced King Trumpet Mushrooms or brown cremini mushroom
- 10 ounces chopped thick cut bacon 10 to 12 thick cut slices
- 1 pound asparagus cut in half and sliced lengthwise if thick
- 2 1/2 ounces baby spinach
- 2 1/2 ounces arugula
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan. Turn the stove to high and heat until the oil starts to shimmer, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions, leek and garlic, cooking until the onions start to turn translucent. Do not let the garlic brown.
- Add the Arborio rice and cook until the rice starts to turn translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the dry white wine and cook, stirring occasionally to make sure the vegetables don’t brown, until the rice absorbs the liquid, about 2 to 3 minutes (it will absorb the liquid pretty fast). Add 4 cups of chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to low so the liquid barely simmering. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, place the bacon in another saute pan, and cook over medium heat until crispy, about 7 minutes. Scoop the bacon out of the pan to a bowl lined with a paper towel, then pour the bacon grease out of the pan into a heatproof cup or bowl. Don’t bother wiping out the pan, leaving a little residual bacon grease, and add the mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Once the time is up, remove the lid from the rice and stir until all the liquid is absorbed. Increase the heat to medium, add the remaining 1/2 cup of stock, along with asparagus, the bacon, and cooked mushrooms. Stir until the liquid is absorbed. If the risotto looks to dry, add more stock, 1/4 cup at a time.
- Remove from heat and finish the risotto by stirring in the spinach and arugula, letting the residual heat wilt the greens. Stir in the cheese and taste, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle the top of risotto with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and serve with extra grated cheese for topping.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says
Oh, boy!! This dish is right up my alley!! Does it ever look delish and I love the visual appeal of it. Usually, you see the ingredients in itty bits but you using the larger pieces makes it look so colorful. I’m going to make the risotto this weekend. Have a great day!!
Beautiful risotto. I never would have thought to use the long pieces of mushroom and asparagus but they make the risotto just stunning. I’m a traditionalist, and make risotto the old fashioned way as well. It’s enjoyable!
We love risotto and this one is perfect for the fresh asparagus that will be local soon!
I also love the bowls you show it in.
The article you have shared here is very awesome. I really like and appreciate your work. The points you have mentioned in this article are useful. I must try to follow these points and also share others.
Alka Talwar says
Wow, really, I can’t get over that delicious taste! So simple and yet – sooo great. Thank you for this recipe – it’s a real keeper.
Evelyn Adams says
When I saw this risotto, I won’t hide my drool. At first, it seemed to me that this is a very complex dish and to cook it you need a lot of time. But my surprise there is no limit when I see a step by step recipe and it is so simple that I immediately began to cook it. To be honest, I never before have the food aroused so much interest in me to cook something. That’s probably because I love mushroom dishes so much. After I made this risotto, I’d like to share my emotions and impressions of the taste with you. You know in this dish all the components interact very well, complement each other. I really liked the taste of bacon and mushrooms, for some reason I used to cook very few dishes with a similar mixture of products. I so much admire the taste and now this recipe will be one of my favorite. And those people who love risotto in doubly will love this recipe.
Sara Zahra says
Soooooooooo yummmmmy i did it with black and white risotto and brown mushrooms , pancetta instead of bacon and swiss guryere cheese instead of parmesean!
Thank you sooo much !