This bacon and pea cheesy risotto is the ultimate comfort food, using only four ingredients.
Rice and peas are an absolutely classic combination, most famously used in the Venetian dish risi e bisi (which literally just means ‘rice and peas’ in Italian). However, there are many sacred rules for this dish, including using only fresh, in season early peas. Not so with our bacon and pea cheesy risotto: it uses all the cheats and shortcuts we can muster. The result is a delicious, unctuous cheesy dish with crisp chunks of salty bacon and bright pops of green peas. It’s on the table in under a quarter of an hour. Serve with a big green salad.
- 2 x 175g packs Risotto Pronto quattro formaggi (we used Riso Gallo)
- 200g smoked lardons
- 200g frozen peas
- 45g Parmesan, grated
Put 900ml boiling water into a large pan, tip in the two packs of risotto rice and cook for 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the lardons in a dry frying pan for 5 minutes until golden. Add the lardons and peas to the rice and cook for 5 more minutes until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan.
Top tip for making bacon and pea cheesy risotto
If you have more time, you can use this flavour combination in a more traditional risotto, using dried risotto rice cooked in chicken stock, according to the packet instructions. Add the crispy bacon lardons and peas as in the recipe above, then stir through a handful of grated Parmesan and a knob of butter before serving.