Risotto alla Carbonara

Risotto alla Carbonara

There's comfort food—then there's comfort cooking. For me, risotto falls into both. And weekends are perfect for the mindless inattention that risotto-stirring requires. This is alla carbonara—because for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (and every day), what better combo than bacon and eggs? Am I right or am I right? 

Here are the ingredients 

  • 2 ounces diced bacon 
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry Apple cider Vinegar (you can use white wine if you like too) 
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, kept hot in a separate saucepan over low heat
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Finely grated Pecorino Romano, to taste, plus shavings for garnish


  • Starting from a cold pan, heat the bacon in the olive oil until it has crisped up significantly and rendered down much of its fat, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside for later. Pour out the fat, reserving 1 tablespoon in the pan. 
  • Sauté the onion in the bacon fat for a minute, then add the rice and do the same. Splash in the apple cider vinegar and reduce completely.
  • Slowly stir in the hot chicken broth, one ladleful at a time, only adding more once the last addition has been fully absorbed by the rice. This should take about 15 minutes. When you're nearing the end of your broth, taste your rice: Is it al dente? That is, soft on the outside with a tiny bite left in the center of the grain? When it's at this stage, remove from heat, cover, and let sit to finish cooking while you prepare the egg mixture.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, cream, black pepper, and as much cheese as you want (you can add more later) into a pale-yellow mixture, which should then be folded into the still-warm risotto, loosening it up a bit.
  • Plate your risotto. Top with the reserved crispy bacon, a few large shavings of Pecorino, and a very generous crack of black pepper (which is, apparently, the "charcoal" in carbonara).

Buon appetito!

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