Bacon, Basil, and Tomato Risotto

Bacon, Basil, and Tomato Risotto

Though I’m somewhat of a creature of habit, I try really, really hard not to be. I believe in a healthy balance. Which means that while I may crave risotto every single week (along with flatbread), I try to make it different every time I make it. Variety is the spice of life after all, yes?

After realizing I had a plethora of bacon in the fridge (nothing wrong with that), I started wondering why I never made a risotto with bacon in it. I came across tons of BLT risotto recipes all over the interwebs and decided to make one of my own. Only, I figured basil would work better than lettuce. Just like it was the perfect night for Chels to make chili, it was the perfect night for me to make risotto. Chilly, rainy, and all-around gross.

Also, I say this EVERY TIME, but risotto is NOT hard to make. It’s actually super duper easy and I made this after a long day when I really didn’t feel like being in the kitchen. Sure, you have to stir it a bit, but other than that, it’s incredibly simple. Do it. And then tell me I’m wrong. You won’t. It’s not possible.

Bacon, Basil, and Tomato Risotto (Serves 2 as meal or 4 as side):

  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 3/4 C arborio rice
  • 1/2 C dry white wine
  • 2.5 C chicken broth
  • 2 medium (or 3 small) tomatoes, chopped
  • Small bunch of basil, chopped
  • 1/2 C parmesan cheese, grated

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Chops your bacon into bite-sized pieces. But don’t eat it yet. It’s raw.

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Put the bacon in the saucepan you’re going to cook the risotto in. Cook the bacon until it’s just about crispy. You’ll probably want to stir it a bunch so it just doesn’t burn.

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Once the bacon’s done, remove it with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with a paper towel.

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Drain oil from pot until you have about 1 T left. Turn your heat to medium-low and then throw in your garlic. Stir it or it will get a bit burnt, like mine did. You’ll want it to cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

I need to take the time to say- BRILLIANT. You won’t have to add oil or butter to this risotto. Because you’ve got bacon fat!!

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While the garlic was cooking, I threw in the chopped jalapenos, too.

At this point, you’ll also want to pour your chicken broth into a separate saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, lower the heat and keep it at a simmer.

Now, measure out your arborio rice and put it in the saucepan with the garlic and jalapeno. I only did about 3/4 C, but next time I’m doing more (because it was really good!).

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Cook the rice for about one minute, stirring a bit, until it’s translucent around the edges.

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Add in your 1/2 C of white wine. Then pour yourself a glass. You deserve it.

Scrape up all that good stuff from the bottom of the skillet. Stir a bit until the wine is totally absorbed.

Then add about 1/2 C chicken broth.

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And let that absorb, too. Keep adding more chicken broth and letting it absorb. Make sure you stir occasionally, too, so the rice doesn’t end up sticking to the pot.

Once you’ve used all the chicken broth, you can add in your tomatoes. Cook them for a couple minutes while stirring.

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Then toss in the bacon, basil, and parmesan cheese.

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And stir it all up!

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And that’s all you need to do. That’s it. Well, you might want to serve it in a bowl or on a plate. Because at this point, your kitchen is going to smell really, really good. And it might be weird if you’re eating it out of the pot and someone walks in.

Oh, normally you would add a bunch of butter here too. But it’s totally not necessary.

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I honest to goodness could live off of risotto. Especially when there’s a little meat and some veggies involved It’s a complete meal! But it also makes the most excellent side dish.

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This was one of the best risottos I’ve made yet. I mean, it had bacon, how could it not be? But I loved how fragrant and creamy it was, with the perfect amount of heat from the jalapeno. It had some summer flavors from the tomatoes and basil, but also reminded me a lot of fall.

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Not that the risotto isn’t beautiful-looking, but in other, cuter news, I saw the lovely Mitzi today. I had to play around with the new camera a bit since Mitzi is the most photogenic dog ever.

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I can’t get over her cuteness!

Also, it’s still rainy and gross and I my risotto leftovers again tonight. Just as delicious!

What’s your favorite kind of risotto?

[Sues]

33 Responses to "Bacon, Basil, and Tomato Risotto"

  1. that last pic of mitzi is priceless! are you ladies coming to foodbuzz this year?

  2. Erica says:

    Risotto…so creamy and delicious. I agree- so easy to make. Just stir stir stir. Great add ins too. Mitzi is adorable. The last picture is my favorite. I like a lot of veggies mixed into my risotto- especially peas, asparagus & tomatoes

  3. Simply Life says:

    oh that looks like the perfect risotto combination!

  4. Michelle says:

    My favorite step of this recipe is when you pour yourself a glass of wine!

  5. Shannon says:

    mitzy is pretty adorable 🙂 and what a fabulous risotto! i tried out a corn one last night, and i don’t know why i didn[‘t think of the bacon addition 🙂

  6. Emily says:

    I was just thinking that I can’t wait to make fall-inspired risotto. The bacon and tomatoes look very comforting. I always like it with butternut squash a nutmeg for a warmer feel… or, in the spring, fresh veggies like peas and asparagus. You can’t go wrong!!

  7. Lauren says:

    This post serves as a reminder of how much I adore risotto… and how long it’s been since I last made it! Love the flavors in this recipe, and goodness gracious Mitzi is adorable :).

  8. Annie says:

    Oh my god, that dog is adorable! What breed is she? A Wheaten Terrier?
    PS: The risotto looks amazing, too! I just get totally sidetracked if I see a dog.. haha!

  9. Megan says:

    The risotto looks beautiful. I wonder if we should start some sort of bacon-lovers anonymous group! Everything is so much better with bacon!

    Cute dog!

  10. peachkins says:

    what an amazing risotto!!!

  11. Ah creamy risotto is one of my faves!! Such a comforting food and pretty easy to make. Like you, I tend to switch up my recipes based on what I have around at the time. One of my fall-back meals is fried rice because I always at least have rice, eggs, and soy sauce around, then throw in whatever else I can find!

  12. I live by my spinach, asparagus and parmesan risotto recipe. Mostly because you only have to stir for 15minutes. The rest of the cooking is done in the oven. Yummy AND not-so-labor intensive? PRICELESS.

  13. Sues says:

    @Annie- She’s a cockapoo! So cute and one of the friendliest dogs I’ve ever known 🙂

  14. cailen says:

    mmmm…looks delish! (wish i could smell it : )

  15. Pam says:

    I wish I had a big bowl of that for breakfast… yes breakfast. The pup is so cute!

  16. Monique says:

    yum! if i advance to round three there will be some creamy risotto in my menu! and i was thinking of adding bacon. great minds think alike. I love a good smoky creamy risotto. Oh bacon!

  17. Lilia says:

    I see on the ingredients, small bunch of risotto, chopped. And I see in the image something not listed, but I cannot tell what it is.

    Could you let me know?

    Thanks!

  18. My sister and I used to buy the frozen mushroom risotto at Trader Joe’s and top it with crunmbled bacon or italian sausage and tomatoes – your recipe reminds me of that, but better because it’s homemade! I’ll have a hard time sticking to one serving of that!

  19. Joanne says:

    I crave risotto basically every second of every day also. But for the sake of my blog I try to mix it up.

    BLT risotto…not THAT is new to me also! I need it. And i need that puppy. Too cute!

  20. Daisy says:

    well, I’ve never made rissoto (what a suprise) unless you count the Trader Joe’s frozen kind. (I love their frozen foods!) I love a pea / asparagus rissoto in the spring. and I think one just like yours is perfectly suitable for fall. yum!

  21. MichellePC says:

    I adore risotto, especially because it’s so versatile, but am always too intimidated to make it at home. Great to hear it’s an easy dish to make!

  22. Sharlene says:

    Mmm I love all risotto and you’re right it’s super easy to make! I made my first one a couple months ago and was afraid the whole time that I’d ruin it but it came out perfectly. I put bacon in it too! Couldn’t have gone wrong if I tried.

  23. i want to pet that doggy so badly!
    and risotto sounds so good. as soon as LA leaves it’s nuclear reactor state, it’s gettin’ made.

  24. Evan @swEEts says:

    I actually haven’t really had all that much risotto, but I love bacon and we have a huge basil tree in our front yard so I may have to try this out!

  25. Kelly says:

    I adore risotto and isn’t htis just the perfect season for it? I love the idea of using bacon fat instead of butter for toasting the rice. Yum. What kind of dog is Mitzi? She reminds me a bit of my Oliver so I’m assuming she’s some kind of poodle mix. Whoops. Just saw the response above. My dog is a cockapoo as well. He is also incredibly (too much sometimes) friendly.

  26. Risotto really is easy. I find it super theraputic to just stir it for 40 minutes (or however long it takes) and space out. Perfect after a stressful day!
    PS – I love your bacon and tomato version. I have so much bacon in the freezer, I may have to give it a go soon (we got it 2 months in a row from my meat csa).

  27. this risotto looks so good and pretty:)

  28. emily says:

    i started making risotto this summer, and it’s a lot easier to do than i thought! i am loving beet risotto right now…i could eat it everyday, too!

  29. Awwww! I love her fluffy legs! She IS very photogenic!

  30. Bridget says:

    Oh my goodness!! That risotto looks AMAZING! Mmmm bacon 🙂 It’s been far too long since I;ve made risotto!
    LOVE that dog!!! She is adorable!!! The face almost reminds me of our new pup 🙂

  31. L says:

    this is so delicious! i want to make it for everyone i know. it is THAT good. thanks for sharing!

  32. Peridot says:

    Omg…i made this tonight and it was amazing! I absolutely love it and can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. My first risotto was a success!

  33. Kassie says:

    This looks amazing and I’m going to make tonight. And add asparagus!

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