**Bacon & Tomato Risotto**
- 150g Risotto rice
- 2 - 3 Rashers of smoked bacon (or streaky bacon for even more crunch) / diced
- 1/2 Red onion / finely chopped
- 1 Clove of garlic / finely chopped
- 1/3 Red pepper / diced
- 1/3 Aubergine / diced
- 3 medium porcini mushrooms / sliced
- 2 Sun ripped tomatoes / chopped
- 1 celery stick / finely chopped
- White wine
- Sun dried tomato paste or tomato puree
- Dry rosemary herb
- Parmesan cheese / grated
- Vegetable stock
- olive oil
- Salt n' Pepper
**Winter is definitely here, and nothing keeps the winter blues away better than some yummy comfort food. Risottos are a staple part of my winter diet, and this is absolutely my favourite recipe! I often find the all soft texture of risotto slightly boring, so in this recipe I decided to cook majority of the vegetables separately and fry the bacon to vary the texture.**
1. Make or warm up your vegetable stock, you will need around a litre.
2. Drop a large knob of butter and a glug of olive oil into a heavy based saucepan, and soften the onion, garlic and celery on a low heat.
3. Turn up the heat and add the risotto rice, stir the rice quickly so it's coated evenly in the buttery sheen. Add a huge glug of white wine and stir till the wine has evaporated.
4. Turn the heat down and ladle some stock to the rice. Stir and wait until all the liquid is absorbed before you add the next ladle of stock. After about 5 minutes, add the tomato and a sprinkle of rosemary herb and keep stirring and cooking the rice.
5. While the rice is cooking you can start frying the other part of your risotto (obviously keep a watchful eye on your rice!). Heat up a frying pan with a glug of olive oil then add the bacon, when the bacon is just about cooked through, add the diced red peppers and aubergine. Cook for 5 minutes of so, then add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are cook through, you can turn off the heat.
6. Just before the rice reaches that perfect texture, add a dollop of tomato paste or tomato puree to taste. Careful to not over cook the rice, you want it to have the al dente texture.
7. Mix the bacon and vegetables with the rice and season.
8. Divide onto warm plates and serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
*I am often too lazy to warm up my stock in a separate pan, so after I evaporated the wine I just chuck half a stock cube into the rice and add hot water from the kettle till the rice is cooked. :D One less pan to wash up, whoop!*