Double Smoked Bacon and Spinach Risotto
- Bring 4 litres of water to a boil. Have 4 litres of ice water ready. Add 4 cups of spinach to boiling water and cook for 10 seconds.
- Quickly drain spinach and plunge into ice water. Leave in water until cold. Drain well and squeeze dry.
- Add 2 cloves of peeled and minced garlic to whipping cream.
- Bring to simmer for 5 minutes and turn off heat.
- Add whipping cream, garlic and drained spinach to blender. Puree until very smooth. Set aside.
- Heat 4 cups of chicken stock and season to taste. Keep stock warm until needed.
- Place a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add shallots, 2 cloves of garlic and cook until fragrant. Add bacon and cook until it just starts to crisp. Stir continuously with wooden spoon.
- Add rice and cook for 20-30 seconds until rice starts to dry. Add wine and let reduce by half. Add chicken stock slowly, half cup at a time and let rice absorb it. As rice absorbs stock, add more as needed. Stir gently and continuously. Once rice begins to soften and becomes al dente, stir in pureed spinach mixture.
- Cook until tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, stirring the whole time.
- Just before serving, add Parmesan, remaining spinach, thinly sliced, and cherry tomatoes. Stir to heat and mix into risotto. Add chili flakes and season with salt if necessary.
- Serve immediately in hot bowls.
4 cups spinach leaves, no stems
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and diced
3/4 cup double smoked bacon, cut into small thin strips
1 cup risotto rice - Caranoli or Arborio
4 tbsp white wine
4 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 cups spinach leaves, no stems, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes - cut into quarters
1/2 tsp chili flakes
Salt to taste