One of my favorite things about springtime is that it’s pea season! I love peas of all kinds, but especially English peas. I love how bright, sweet and fresh they taste. I always try to throw them into anything I can think of and risotto is always high on the list. My favorite part of this dish is that it has a great balance between light and rich, and bright and creamy. I always make a big batch to ensure there are leftovers because it also makes great risotto cakes to serve with a simple mixed green salad for lunch or dinner the next day. Mother’s Day is only a few short weeks away and this would make a great addition to any Mother’s Day menu….or any menu really, right? xx, Jenny
English Pea Bacon and Mint Risotto
Serves 3 to 4
4 rashers of bacon, diced
2 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 to 5 cups chicken stock, warmed
1 cup shelled English peas
2 ounces mascarpone, softened
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
salt and pepper to taste
1. Pour 1/2 tablespoon of oil into a medium skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Strain with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels and set aside.
2. Drain grease and transfer skillet back to the stovetop. Add oil and sauté shallots for 2 minutes. Add garlic and rice and continue to sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until a small white dot remains in the center of each grain of rice. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Deglaze pan with wine and stir. Allow almost all the liquid to evaporate then reduce the heat to medium and add 2/3 cup warm stock, stirring frequently.
4. Each time the liquid evaporates add another ladle of stock and continue to stir. Repeat until the rice is al dente, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add peas and bacon to the risotto. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Stir in mascarpone, Parmesan and mint and continue to stir until smooth. Adjust seasonings.
7. Top with a little more grated Parmesan and lemon zest and serve.