Who loves bacon? Here is a recipe for you – Roasted Bell Peppers and Bacon Risotto. A delicious savory dish for the cooler days that are soon upon us. Serve with a simple green salad and a bottle of white wine. Delish!
Have you ever roasted bell peppers directly on the open flame of your stove? Here’s your chance to try something new if you have not. Roasting peppers this way bring out their natural sugars, so they are sweeter and smokier and letting them steam in a plastic covered bowl allows for the skins to slip off easily when they have cooled down enough to handle. The peppers will pop and crackle on the stove – no worries its just part of the process. Bon appetit!
Bacon and Roasted Red Pepper Risotto
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tbs olive oil (or any vegetable oil)
- 1 cup carnaroli or arborio rice
- 1/2 grated parmesan cheese
- 5 rashers of back/streaky bacon, sliced into strips
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper
- 1 14-oz can of tomato puree/chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 10 pitted olives (optional)
- 10 fresh basil leaves, shredded (optional)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Roast the bell peppers by placing them on an open flame on the stove top, turning them and charring their skins black. Place the peppers into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to trap the steam inside for 5-10 minutes till cool enough to handle.
- With clean hands, gently rub the charred, soggy skins off the peppers, peeling them away to reveal the tender flesh of the peppers. Only allow a quick rinse under running water to wash off the blackened bits of skin that remain stuck. Chop up the roasted peppers into a fine dice and set aside.
- In a frying pan, fry the bacon slices until browned and crisp. Set aside.
- Combine the can of tomato puree or chopped tomatoes with the 1/2 cup of water in a small pot and bring to a boil.
- In a deep pan with medium heat, gently fry the diced onion with olive oil until soft but not browned for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and peppers. At this point, turn up the heat and add the rice and fry till the grains have become a little translucent with a white spot in the middle, about 2-3 minutes. Pour in the wine and once it evaporates with a lovely aroma, add a ladleful of the tomato puree mixture. Turn down the heat to a simmer.
- For the next 15-20 minutes or so, add a ladleful of the tomato puree mixture whenever the rice has absorbed the liquid. Repeat this process. Once the rice is almost al dente, still slightly hard but with a slight bite, add the roast peppers and olives (if using).
- Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese. Cover the pan and leave to rest for 1-2 minutes.
- To serve, top with the fried bacon slices and garnish with thyme and basil leaves.