Taleggio, Bacon and Watercress Risotto

author: claireandhen

created: 2004-07-19 15:47:11




125g pancetta, cubed 1 red onion, chopped, 400 g rice (really, I've no idea about amounts. enough for 4) 1 bottle vermouth, standing by, 1 pint chicken stock, hot, 1 big bunch watercress, washed and roughly chopped, 1 taleggio block, or a creamy blue cheese - about 150g's worth, cut up into small cubes 1 knob of parmesan, grated 1 field of black peppercorns, crushed. The pepper's an ingredient, not a seasoning. No stinting In a big pan - we use a non-stick wok, which works very nicely thank you - fry the pancetta in some olive oil until super crispy. Once it's done, take out the pancetta and keep to one side. This guarantees you some delicious crispy bacon in your risotto, provided you manage not to eat it all while you cook. I sometimes have to put it in a cupboard, to save me from myself. Add a small blob of butter to the oil, or don't, if you're worried about that sort of thing, then gently fry the red onion until softened. Add the rice, stir to coat it in all the oniony juices, then add a good slug of vermouth. Cook off for a few seconds. Add the stock, in 3 or 4 goes, and cook the rice, keeping it slowly bubbling all the time. Once your rice is almost done but the risotto's still soupy, add the watercress, half the crispy bacon, some black pepper and the taleggio. Turn off the heat, put a lid on the pan (if it has one), and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Serve in bowls, topped with the rest of the bacon and the parmesan, and another sprinkling of black pepper. So this serves four. Generosity? Keeness to share with friends? Hell no. We have risotto one night, and Hen makes suppli the next day with the leftovers. I highly recommend them.