Today I was faced with an excess amount of bacon. Lovely, delicious naturally wood smoked Hutterite bacon that I am very addicted to. Unfortunately (?) it only comes in large packages and our bacon consumption doesn’t occur as often as it should. Sad, I know but when I was faced with the thought of this preservative free porky goodness going bad I knew the solution was a good ol’ bacon fry up. Naturally I wanted to include a bit of it into our dinner and I was immediately reminded of a comment I made on a recent lovely tomato risotto post. It had been a long time since I’d made risotto and the idea of a tomato risotto for dinner was just too good to pass up.
Enter this lovely blog post from Cottage Grove House. I mean, it looks so good who could resist giving it a try? My first intention was to completely follow the recipe but then I realized I had no tomato to make the broth with and only my home made passata instead of canned tomatoes. When I looked in my pantry for arborio rice, I remembered I had this saffron risotto rice and thought it might make a good combination with the tomato passata. So instead of the home made tomato broth I used chicken stock, added a bit of white wine, and used saffron arborio.
The result was super delicious and it was immediately voted onto the ‘make again’ list.For me, the marriage of saffron and tomato is like peanut butter and jelly and the addition of the chili flakes really warmed our cheeks up on this cold winter’s eve.
I was glad no one had to leave for football, karate, etc. and that we were all warm and safe inside our home. Let the winter winds blow!
Tomato Saffron Risotto (adapted from Cottage Grove House)
1 diced shallot
2 finely diced cloves garlic
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup passata
1 1/4 cups arborio rice
1/4 tsp saffron threads (my rice had saffron in it already but I would approximate the amount of saffron to be this amount)
pinch of chili flakes
5 cups hot chicken stock
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
diced cooked bacon (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the diced shallot in the olive oil until it has turned soft then add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the risotto and stir to coat the grains with oil. Add the white wine and allow it to cook out. This step is important in achieving the correct wine flavour within the risotto. When the wine has cooked out, add 1/2 cup passata, chili flakes, saffron threads (if using) and 1/2 cup hot chicken stock. Stir and let the stock cook out then add another 1/2 cup of hot stock. Repeat this process until you have one cup of stock left. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of passata and 1/2 cup of stock. Let it cook out again and add the final 1/2 cup of stock (check the risotto and if it is still ‘chalky’ add 1/2 cup hot water and cook out until it is soft but also al dente) and the grated Parmesan. Allow to cook until you have your desired consistency. Top with Parmesan curls and bacon.