This rustic risotto is one of our favorites. The mushrooms, walnuts and creamy arborio rice make a wonderful combination, and the bacon is used in small amounts as a flavor and texture enhancer.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion—finely chopped
2 bacon rashers—fat and rind removed, and diced
7 oz (200g) mushrooms—cleaned and thickly sliced
2 cloves garlic—finely chopped
¼ cup crushed walnuts
1 cup arborio rice
½ cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


HEAT 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. ADD the bacon and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. ADD the mushrooms, garlic, walnuts and rice and cook for a minute, stirring to coat the rice with oil. ADD the wine, stock, salt and pepper, bring to the boil then cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. SIMMER gently for 20 minutes without lifting the lid. STIR the reserved tablespoon of olive oil, parsley and cheese through the rice.

Tip: Replace the regular bacon with soy bacon if you don't eat meat.

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