Friday, April 4

Risotto Carbonara with Peas

The only thing better than spaghetti carbonara is risotto carbonara

Risotto is already one of my favorite comfort foods, but this carbonara version is the ultimate. Adapted from a recipe in The A.O.C. Cookbook, creamy rice is studded with chunks of tender bacon and pancetta and fresh peas. All the traditional components of spaghetti carbonara are present, including a few egg yolks that get stirred in at the last minute to add even more richness. The peas and pea tendrils keep the risotto from feeling too heavy and add a nice burst of freshness and sweetness next to the salty bacon. I made this for lunch over the weekend and we savored our bowls outside with a bottle of white wine before enjoying a glorious afternoon nap. It made us nostalgic for the long lunches we enjoyed during our honeymoon in Europe and is a feeling we hope to recreate over many sunny afternoons in our backyard this spring.

Related Recipes:
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Deconstructed Spaghetti Carbonara
- Fettuccine with Peas & Garlic Alfredo Sauce

Risotto Carbonara with Peas:
  • Remove the peas from 1 lb. of fresh English pea pods.
  • Bring 4 c. of low-sodium chicken stock to a simmer in a pot on the stove.
  • In another heavy pot or dutch oven, add in 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1/3lb. of diced bacon or pancetta, or a mix of both.
  • Cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon is soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in 1 diced yellow onion and cook for another 7-8 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the bacon has browned.
  • Add in 1 1/2 c. of aborio rice and stir to coat with the bacon fat. Let the rice toast for a couple minutes, then stir in 1/4 c. of white wine.
  • Stir until wine has evaporated, then lower to medium-low heat. Immediately add in a ladleful of simmering stock and stir until mostly absorbed.
  • Continue ladling stock and stirring until the rice is al dente and a creamy, starchy sauce is coating each grain.
  • Stir in the shelled peas and cook for another few minutes, then turn off the heat.
  • Immediately stir in 3 egg yolks, 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese, and salt and black pepper as needed.
  • In another small skillet, melt a pat of butter and add in a bunch of pea tendrils* and a pinch of salt. Cook for a minute or two until wilted.
  • To serve, spoon some of the risotto into a shallow bowl and top with some of the pea tendrils.

Serves four
*Optional, but they are a great addition if you can find them.