Showing posts with label bacon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bacon. Show all posts

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pea and Japanese pumpkin soup

Sopa de abóbora e ervilha / Pea and Japanese pumpkin soup

Do you ever get tired of your own food?

That has not happened to me yet – not only during the pandemic, because before that I already took my own food for lunch at the office – but I must confess that there are days that I eat and think “it could have been better”, or “this does not go with that”.

Cooking with whatever we have at hand can yield good surprises, like the risotto I posted the other day, but it can go terribly wrong, too, like when I made rice and beans - the staple of Brazilian food - with pumpkin and carrots cooked together (because I didn’t have much of each) and a radish salad on the side: I felt that the salad did not agree with the other components, maybe because it was a cold day, maybe because the radishes were too peppery… I usually roast pumpkin because it tastes so much better that way, but I was baking bread and could not use the oven. The whole meal was not bad, but it lacked something… There was no “yum” factor. I filed that lunch under “I tried, but it didn’t work”. :)

But now I will talk about something good: there was also the day I made a soup using some of that same Japanese pumpkin, 1 lonely potato and frozen peas. It turned out delicious and with a beautiful, vibrant, almost fluorescent color.
Since both the pumpkin and the peas are sweet, the acidity of the lime (or lemon) juice and the saltiness of the bacon balance the sweetness perfectly.

Pea and Japanese pumpkin soup
own recipe

2 slices of bacon, chopped
½ tablespoon olive oil
½ large onion, finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 medium potato (150g), peeled and diced
200g peeled and diced Japanese pumpkin (about 1 2/3 cups already diced in 2cm cubes)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 ½ cups (840ml) boiling water
1 bay leaf
2 ½ cups (325g) frozen peas, straight from the freezer
juice of ½ lime (or lemon)

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp – remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the olive oil to the pan and mix with the rendered fat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute – do not let it burn or it will turn bitter.
Add wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, cooking until wine has evaporated. Add potato and pumpkin, stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Add the water and the bay leaf, stir, and let it come to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15-17 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf and blitz with a handheld mixer.
Stir in the lime juice and serve topped with the crunchy bits of bacon.

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as an entrée

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Loaded potatoes with spinach, cheese and bacon

Loaded potatoes with spinach, bacon and cheese / Barquinhas de batata com espinafre, bacon e queijo

I work for a Swiss company and this week several of my peers from Switzerland have been asking me about/wishing me a good Carnival – it is funny because I am not a Carnival person (they do not know that), but I do enjoy the days off (Netflix, here I come!). :)

To me these loaded potatoes are perfect for lazy days: just a handful of ingredients, easy prepping, and delicious results. My versions lately have been dairy free: I skip the cheese and add a couple of teaspoons of nutritional yeast to the filling to get the cheesy flavor. Sometimes I sprinkle a bit of Pecorino on top as well for a salty touch, since that cheese does not cause me digestion problems.

Loaded potatoes with spinach, cheese and bacon
own recipe

4 large potatoes
6 bacon rashers, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ¾ cups (120g) spinach leaves, packed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup (75g) coarsely grated Canastra cheese*

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a medium baking sheet with foil.
Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork. Place them on the foil and bake for about 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender (remove them from the oven, but keep it on). When potatoes are warm enough to handle, cut them in half horizontally, remove some of the pulp and transfer to a bowl – do not carve the potatoes too much or the shells will be too thin and delicate to hold the filling. Place the potato shells back on top of the foil.

In a large nonstick frying pan, cook the bacon over high heat stirring occasionally until crisp. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and cook until wilted, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the potato pulp and mix. Stir in ½ cup of the cheese. Spoon filling back into each potato half and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes or until top is golden.

* for this recipe I used a kind of cheese typical from Brazil called Canastra cheese. Feel free to replace it with cheddar or the cheese of your liking

Serves 4 with a green salad on the side

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Zucchini, bacon and cheese clafoutis

Zucchini, bacon and cheese clafoutis / Clafoutis de abobrinha, queijo e bacon

Those of you around here for a while know that the other habitant of my house used to be a very picky eater until he spent (precious) days in China - one of the things he did not eat back then was heavy cream (!).

That has luckily changed and many times in the warmer months, when we wanted something light but still delicious I made savory clafoutis for lunch and served with a big salad. Joao’s favorite mix of flavors is the one I bring you today: the salty bits of bacon pair wonderfully well with the cheese and the zucchini. My favorite clafoutis is the one made exactly like this, however swapping the zucchini for a handlful of button mushrooms that get browned in a drizzle of the leftover bacon fat before being added to the batter. If you ever try any of the versions I will love to hear your comments about it.

Zucchini, bacon and cheese clafoutis
own creation

2 slices of bacon, chopped
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk, room temperature
½ cup (70g) all purpose flour
1/3 cup gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
1 medium zucchini (about 200g/7oz), in small dice
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Set aside a 1-liter capacity heatproof baking dish – the one on the photo is 20cm (8in) wide and 3.5cm (1 1/3in) deep.

Heat a small nonstick frying pan over high heat and cook the bacon, stirring occasionally so the pieces brown evenly. As soon as they are crispy, remove them from the saucepan using a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Use some of the rendered fat to grease the insides of the baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, cream and milk until smooth. Add the flour and whisk until smooth again. Stir in the cheese, zucchini and thyme leaves, then season with salt and pepper. Pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the bacon bits.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve immediately.

Serves 2-3 (depending on what is served with it)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Linguine with creamy tomato, thyme, caper and bacon sauce

Linguine with creamy tomato, caper, thyme and bacon sauce / Linguine com molho cremoso de tomate, alcaparra, tomilho e bacon

I believe that many of you reading me right now reach for a pasta package whenever there is the need of having food on the table in little to no time – I am guilty of that and I am not ashamed of it. :)

I make pasta often not only because of how fast it is: Joao and I love it and it is so versatile I can combine it with several different flavors and types of sauce. I saw this version of a tomato sauce on Olive magazine and it was so simple I had to try it: the sauce is delicious, the acidity of the tomatoes is softened by the addition of cream and the capers add a briny, salty touch to the sauce. Thyme is my favorite herb and one I love pairing with tomato.

Linguine with creamy tomato, thyme, caper and bacon sauce
slightly adapted from the always great Olive magazine

4 slices of bacon, cut into ½ cm pieces
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons capers – soak them in cold water for 15 minutes before using, then drain
3 tablespoons heavy cream
200g linguine

In a medium saucepan, over high heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove from the pan and set over paper towels. Remove the excess fat from the saucepan, leaving 1 tablespoon. On that fat, cook the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the thyme and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, crush them with a potato masher, then fill the can by half with water and add to the tomatoes. Add the sugar, season with salt and pepper and cook partially covered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until thickened.

In the meantime, cook the linguine in salted boiling water until al dente.

Stir in capers and cream and then cook for 3 minutes. Drain the linguine and toss with the sauce. Serve at once sprinkled with the bacon bits.

Serves 2

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Penne with tomato and chickpea sauce - simple, honest food

Penne with tomato and chickpea sauce / Penne com molho de tomate e grão de bico

Because I like to try new recipes and new dishes I look for inspiration everywhere, even in cuisines I would never adopt as a way of life, such as vegan, for instance: I understand that there are great vegan recipes out there and I have made some myself, but I don’t intend to spend my life without milk, eggs, honey, butter or cheese – it’s just not who I am.

Having said that, I got curious when I read a recipe on Andrew Carmellini’s beautiful Urban Italian for a dish pasta that was rich without having loads of butter and cream – yes, I won’t give up on cream, that is for sure, but that doesn’t mean I have to eat it every single day. I am a sucker for pasta dishes, so I gave it a go and it turned out delicious: the chickpea puree thickens the tomato sauce in a lovely way, making it velvety, and the bacon (that I used instead of the sausages called for in the original recipe) adds a nice, salty touch.

This is simple, no fuss, honest food that I am eager to eat on a daily basis – I could not expect less from the guy responsible for the best gnocchi.

Penne with tomato and chickpea sauce
adapted from the delicious Urban Italian: Simple Recipes and True Stories from a Life in Food

1 can (420g/15oz) chickpeas
½ tablespoon olive oil
2 bacon rashers, finely sliced
3 cups your favorite tomato sauce – mine is here
½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
400g penne
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup grated pecorino cheese

Drain the chickpeas well, reserving the liquid. Blend half the chickpeas (about 1 cup) and half their liquid on high until the mixture forms a smooth paste, about 1 minute.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Add the tomato sauce and stir to combine. Add the chickpea puree and the fennel seeds and stir to combine. Season to taste, then cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until the mixture forms a loose sauce and the flavors are combined, about 15 minutes. Stir in the pepper flakes and the remaining chickpeas and remove from the heat.

Cook the penne in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain but do not rinse the pasta.
Return the rigatoni to the pot. Add the sauce and cook on medium-high heat, mixing well, until the pasta is well coated, about 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter, olive oil and half the pecorino cheese. Transfer the pasta and sauce to a large serving dish and top with the rest of the pecorino cheese and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Monday, June 9, 2014

Broccolini, bacon and quinoa fritters and Katey Sagal

Broccolini, bacon and quinoa fritters / Bolinhos de quinua, brócolis e bacon

One thing I don’t understand is why Sons of Anarchy hasn’t been showered with awards – it is an amazing show, with great writing and acting, the whole cast being so constantly perfect. There are shows with tons of awards that to me make no sense at all, like the ultra-boring Frasier (one that you already know I absolutely hate).

I was really curious about SoA’s third season because of Katey Sagal’s Golden Globe win, and by the end of it I had to agree that she kicked some serious ass, but to me she’s been doing that ever since the pilot – I don’t get the sole nomination, she should have gathered many more; an actress that gravitates from comedy to drama with such class and talent has all my respect.

Adding more grains to the meals I cook is one goal I’ll try to achieve, and Bill Granger’s quinoa fritters are a good way to do that: a bit of broccolini for iron and crispy bacon for flavor and something that was already good became even greater – just like Katey Sagal’s portrayal of Gemma Teller.

Broccolini, bacon and quinoa fritters
adapted from Bill Granger and Donna Hay magazine

100g quinoa
3 rashers of bacon
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
30g freshly grated parmesan
1 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
finely grated zest of ½ lemon
1 large egg
80 broccolini florets, steamed and finely chopped
canola oil, for frying

Place the quinoa and 200ml water in a small saucepan, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 12 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Cool.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the bacon and cook for 3–4 minutes or until golden. Drain in paper towels, then chop.
In a medium bowl, combine the quinoa, spring onion, parsley and parmesan. Add flour, salt and pepper, lemon zest and egg. Stir well to combine, then stir in the bacon and broccolini.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a large, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and 2 tablespoons of mixture per fritter (cook them in batches). Cook for 2-3 minutes each side, or until browned. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Makes about 10

Friday, August 28, 2009

Roasted cheese, bacon and tomato salad

Roasted cheese, bacon and tomato salad / Salada com tomate, bacon e queijo assados

I told you the other day that desserts are my favorite part of a meal – indeed, they are. But the savory recipes on the DH magazine are impossible to resist – I especially love the soups and salads, like this one.

I’ve tweaked it a bit, using arugula and balsamic vinegar instead of spinach and red wine vinegar; minor changes – nothing silly like choosing John Malkovich over Hugh Laurie. :D

Roasted cheese, bacon and tomato salad / Salada com tomate, bacon e queijo assados

Roasted cheese, bacon and tomato salad
slightly adapted from Donna Hay magazine

250g haloumi*, sliced
4 bacon slices, coarsely chopped
200g sourdough bread, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
250g cherry tomatoes
100g arugula leaves

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed**

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF. To make the dressing, place the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

Place the haloumi, bacon, bread and olive oil on a baking tray and toss to combine. Roast for 5-6 minutes. Turn the haloumi and add the tomatoes. Roast for a further 6-8 minutes or until the tomatoes are cooked and the croutons are golden. Place in a bowl, add the arugula, drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine.

* I used queijo coalho, which is very easy to find here in Brazil and is similar to haloumi

** I used garlic infused olive oil and omitted the garlic clove

Serves 4

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bacon and oregano homemade pasta and two silly people having fun in the kitchen together

Bacon and oregano homemade pasta

I have read that food can bring people together. I think it’s true – many celebrations involve family and/or friends around a table. And one doesn’t need an established occasion at all – having friends over for dinner for no apparent reason is equally wonderful.

Joao and I make our Sunday lunches a special part of our life. Work and traffic jams already keep us apart on weekdays and there’s barely any time for cooking. That’s why I love cooking and baking on weekends – my way of having fun. I’m lucky the hubby shares that with me.

Bacon and oregano homemade pasta

Weekdays are all about what I have to do, so weekends are all about what I want to do. I want to have fun. And is it fun making pasta while Joao takes pictures? You bet!

Bacon and oregano homemade pasta

We laughed like two kids – there was flour all over my kitchen when we finished our “pasta making session”. And after that, we had delicious, fresh pasta for lunch. A pretty good Sunday, if you’ll ask me.

Bacon and oregano homemade pasta

This is my entry for the Weekend Herb Blogging, this time hosted by the lovely Kalyn, the blogger who created the event.


Bacon and fresh oregano homemade pasta
from Donna Hay magazine

400g (14oz) fettuccine, linguini or any long pasta you prefer
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
60g (2oz) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup olive oil, extra – I used a little less
crispy bacon, to serve
grated parmesan, to serve

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, return to the saucepan and keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over high heat, add the oil and oregano and cook for 30 seconds or until crispy. Drain on absorbent paper. Add the capers and garlic and cook for 1 minute or until crispy. Add to the pasta with the butter and extra oil and toss to combine. Divide between plates and top with the oregano, bacon and parmesan.

Serves 4.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bacon, butternut squash and basil baked risotto

Bacon, butternut squash and basil baked risotto

Another one of Donna Hay’s wonderful baked risottos – I think I got a little lazier after I started making risottos this way.


Some of you know that risotto is my favorite food and I don’t need an excuse to make them; but this one was made especially for this Monthly Mingle – an event hosted by the lovely and talented Meeta. This time, the theme is comfort foods and to me nothing is more comforting than risotto. Oh, and my mom’s rice pudding.

I got the recipe from Donna Hay Magazine #33 and changed some of the ingredients – you can’t blame me for being hooked on roasted butternut squash! :)

Bacon, butternut squash and basil baked risotto
adapted from Donna Hay magazine

400g (14oz) butternut squash, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 slices bacon
40g (1½oz) unsalted butter
¼ cup torn basil leaves
1 ½ cups arborio (or risotto) rice
4 ½ cups (36floz) vegetable stock
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
unsalted butter, melted, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/355ºF. Place the butternut squash, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to coat. Transfer it to a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until golden and tender. Set aside.
Place the bacon on a dish, between paper towel and microwave for 1 ½ minutes or until crisp. Let it cool, then break it into small pieces using your fingertips. Set aside.
Place the rice and stock in a 22x30cm (8½ x12in) 10-cup (80fl) capacity baking dish* and stir to combine. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until most of the stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Add the parmesan, salt, pepper, butternut squash, bacon and basil and stir to combine. Drizzle with butter and serve immediately.

* I used a deep bowl instead – I thought it would be easier to mix the ingredients in it than in a rectangular baking dish

Serves 4

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Spaghetti with garlic and spinach and how I love You Tube

Spaghetti with garlic and spinach

Love it. Just love it.

There are loads of interesting things there - music videos (something our stupid MTV hardly ever plays), interviews (I saw a really old one with Duran Duran the other day, so much fun) and food TV shows. I can watch the ones I missed before upgrading my cable TV and also the ones that are not aired here in Brazil. Like bill’s food.

Even though my heart belongs to Gordon Ramsay, there is nothing like watching Bill in the kitchen. The way he cooks – the fact that he smiles all the time is a plus, of course – the music… Not to mention the beautiful kitchen itself, something I totally envy – actually, I envy his house as a whole. And then he goes and serves the food to his wife and daughters… So lovely!

This is the second time I make one of his recipes: the first was the delicious choc banana bread. There are many, many other recipes printed and on the top of my “to try” list. This pasta dish was taken from the delicious. magazine, November 2006 issue.


This is my entry for the Weekend Herb Blogging, this time hosted by Anna, from the blog Anna’s Cool Finds.

Spaghetti with garlic and spinach

400g spaghetti
1/3 cup (80ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced bacon
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
sliced red chilli, to taste – I halved the recipe and used only 1, deseeded
1/3 cup (80ml) white wine
90g spinach – measure without the stems or use baby spinach
salt and freshly ground black pepper
small handful finely chopped parsley
finely grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente.
Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until almost crispy. Add the garlic and chili and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until the garlic is golden. Add the white wine and cook, stirring, for about 20 seconds.
Drain the pasta, add to the frying pan with the spinach. Toss to coat in the sauce until the spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the parsley.
Serve with lots of parmesan.

Serves: 4

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Spaghetti with lime and rocket (arugula). And vacation!

Spaghetti with lime and rocket (arugula)

Yes, I’m officially on vacation, yay!

My plane leaves next Sunday, Sep 9, and you won’t be seeing me for a while. I’ll miss your wonderful visits and comments, not to mention visiting your fantastic blogs.


Before I go, I’d like to submit this pasta dish to this Weekend Herb Blogging, this time hosted by Katie, of Thyme for Cooking, the Blog.

See you guys in three weeks!

Spaghetti with lime and rocket
adapted from Flavours

450g (14oz) spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon shredded lime zest
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed
8 bacon rashers
150g (5oz) rocket (arugula), shredded
3 tablespoons lime juice
dried chillies, in flakes*
grated parmesan, to serve

Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.
While the spaghetti is cooking, place the bacon rashers on a plate, between paper towels and cook in the microwave oven until cooked and crisp. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the lime zest, garlic and capers and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the spaghetti to the pan and toss to coat and heat through. Crush the bacon rashers into pieces and add to the pasta.
To serve, toss the rocket, lime juice and dried chillies through the pasta and pile into serving bowls. Top with the parmesan.

* use them accordingly to your taste, some are quite hot

Serves 4

Monday, June 11, 2007

Giant stuffed steak

Giant stuffed steak

I was looking for something on my other blog archives when I saw a stuffed pork loin I made last year. Then I decided to make something similar, using beef instead.
There’s a dish here called “bife à rolê” that my husband likes a lot – steaks are filled with chopped carrots, bacon and green olives, secured with toothpicks and cooked in a simple broth (most people here use a pressure cooker for that). It’s similar to bracciola, except for the tomato sauce.
I created a giant “bife à rolê”, stuffed with farofa and served it with fresh homemade tomato sauce – click here and here if you’re interested in my other recipes with farofa.
Although I thought the farofa had disappeared at the end, João loved this dish.

Giant stuffed steak

450g rump/top sirloin, cut as a very large steak
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped bacon
2 tablespoons pitted and chopped green olives
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
freshly ground black pepper
boiling water, enough to cover the beef – you may use beef stock if you like, but be careful with the amount of salt
your favorite tomato sauce

Make the farofa: heat olive oil in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden. Add the onion and cook until golden as well. Add the breadcrumbs, olives and parsley, season with salt and pepper, mix well and remove from heat. Set aside to cool. Place the steak open on a chopping board and season with salt and pepper. Spread the farofa on the center and roll the steak, closing all the sides so the stuffing won’t fall out. Secure with cooking string:

In a large saucepan, heat butter over high heat until it’s melted. Add the stuffed steak and cook until all the sides are evenly and nicely browned.
Add the boiling water (or stock, if using), season with a bit of salt, close the lid and cook until the beef is tender – I used a pressure cooker (in a hurry!).
Remove from the pan, cut the string and remove it.
Heat the tomato sauce and spread it over the steak.
Slice it when serving.

Serves 2 very well, with rice, potatoes or a nice salad.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Baked zucchini and bacon risotto

Baked zucchini and bacon risotto

Haalo is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and being a huge fan of her blog I had to participate.


I adapted a recipe, using zucchini instead of pumpkin - it was delicious!

It was my first baked risotto and I must confess that while placing the ingredients together in the bowl I still wasn’t convinced it was going to work. I was so wrong: by the time I finished preparing Joao’s beef and potatoes my risotto was ready and all I had to do was stir it a bit to make it creamy.

I highly recommend this recipe and I think that many other vegetables would replace zucchini wonderfully here.

Baked zucchini and bacon risotto
adapted from Off The Shelf: Cooking From the Pantry

440g (2 cups) Arborio or carnaroli rice
1,250ml (5 cups) chicken or vegetable stock – I used vegetable
60g butter
500g zucchini, diced
12 rashers of bacon
75g (¾ cup) finely grated parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Place the rice, stock, butter and zucchini in an ovenproof dish, mix and cover tightly with a lid or foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until the rice is soft – the risotto will be quite liquid.*
While the risotto is cooking, place the bacon under a hot grill (broiler) and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until crisp – I placed the rashers between sheets of paper towel and cooked in the microwave oven for 1 minute. Set aside.
Remove the risotto from the oven, add the salt, pepper, parmesan and parsley and stir constantly for 2 minutes to thicken it.
To serve, place in serving bowls and top with bacon.

* I used foil to cover the bowl and my risotto wasn’t that liquid – I cooked it for the exact time.

Serves 2 – I halved the recipe and got loads of risotto (that will be transformed in arancini). In my opinion, 1 recipe serves 3-4.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Baked carbonara

I’m a walking contradiction. Although I don’t eat red meat and can’t stand pork, I love bacon... :D
I’d been meaning to prepare this recipe for quite some time but João (my husband) doesn’t like cream so I always decided to prepare pasta with other types of sauce.
That day I decided to give it a try. After cooking the pasta, I prepared some for him with different ingredients and made the recipe with the remaining pasta. I loved it!
A simple, delicious and quick to put together dish that I’ll be certainly making again.

Baked carbonara

400g ziti or fettuccine – I used Barilla's Maccheronci
4 rashers of bacon, chopped
4 eggs
500ml cream
375ml milk - I used low fat

50g grated parmesan cheese
Cook the pasta until al dente; drain.
Cook the bacon until crisp – I always use the microwave oven for this ‘cause the bacon gets crispier this way.
Whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, parmesan and salt.

Place the pasta in a 2 liter capacity ovenproof dish and top with the bacon and the egg mixture.
Bake in a pre-heated oven (180ºC) for 30 minutes or until set – my pasta needed 35 minutes in a 200ºC oven.
Serves 4.
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