Bacon and Tomato Risotto or Pasta (Slow cooked or pan fried)

tomato-and-bacon-risotto2

Tomato and Bacon Risotto

Bacon and Tomato Risotto or Pasta I made the other week for my lovely little family and Ted really enjoyed it as a risotto. I was telling a friend about it and she thought it sounded delicious. Apparently, my friend loves risotto but she said she didn’t know anyone else that did. Well, apart from Ted. The best thing about this dish is you can have it either with rice or pasta and I just have to say bacon is not as unhealthy as you think.

 

Bacon has had bad press in recent years and when I went to look on the internet to find out the health benefits, even I thought, all I would find was bad news. However, I was very wrong and the concern that bacon could ruin your health is a myth.

Bacon actually has healthy nutrients that make it a useful part of a healthy diet. It contains thiamin, vitamin B12, zinc and selenium. These nutrients are vital because the body does not produce them naturally.

Although bacon does contain fat, the fats are not harmful to the body as we have been led to believe. Bacon does not have any trans fats and it actually has the highest protein to fat content. It means that it’s a great option when following a high protein diet or after exercise.

As well as being nutritious, bacon is good for mental health too. That’s right, bacon is a natural mood enhancer that helps encourage positive mental states. The meat has an addictive substance that has a neurological impact on the brain.

Another surprising fact about bacon is that it is healthy for the heart. Bacon contains omega-3 fatty acids which are the same nutrients found in fish. The health benefits of omega fatty acids are reduced cholesterol and improved overall health in the heart. Despite the myth that bacon causes heart disease, it actually has a positive benefit on the heart and body.

tomato-and-bacon-risotto

Tomato and Bacon Risotto in the pan. 

High cholesterol is a problem for many nowadays but a serving of bacon can help to reduce the bad numbers while raising the good numbers over time. We only have bacon occasionally and when we do we buy it either from Frenchies Farm Organic Butchers Shop or we go to the Giggle Pig stall in the high street on a Saturday. Personally I don’t mind either although Giggly Pig is not certified organic the pigs are treated humanely. Please go to these websites to find out more about the products they sell.

 

The other week I made this dish in the slow cooker just because it was quick and easy. My friend however, does not have a slow cooker, so I have also tried it pan fried. It works well both ways and is a simple, quick and easy recipe to follow.

Serves 4

Equipment

  • Chopping board
  • Sharp Knife
  • Slow cooker or frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Jug
  • Saucepan

    tomato-and-bacon-risotto3

    Tomato and Bacon Risotto in a bowl

  • Sieve
  • Teaspoon
  • Tablespoons
  • Grater

Ingredients

  • Onion x 1 large
  • Garlic x 2 cloves
  • Bacon x 4 thick rashers
  • Tinned tomatoes 400g x 2
  • Chicken stock x 250mls
  • Kale x 1 large bag
  • Dried oregano x 1 – 2 tsp
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cream cheese x 4 tbsps
  • Parmesan or a mature cheddar x 80g grated
  • Olive oil x 2 tsps for the frying pan

Method for slow cooker

  • Start by slicing the onion and chopping the garlic.
  • Next cut the bacon into strips.
  • Add these ingredients into the slow cooker.
  • Then add the tomatoes, dried oregano and chicken stock.
  • Season to taste.
  • Leave in the slow cooker on a low heat for 6 – 7 hours stirring occasionally.
  • After the 7 hours chop the kale and add to the pot.
  • Cook for another hour or until the kale has become tender.
  • Meanwhile cook the rice or pasta as per the packet instructions.
  • Finally, add the cream cheese and the rice or pasta to the sauce.
  • Grate the cheese on top.

Method for the hob.

  • Start by cooking the rice or pasta as per the packet instructions.
  • Once cooked leave to one side.
  • Meanwhile, slice the onion and the garlic.
  • Cut the bacon into strips.
  • Heat the frying pan on a medium temperature with the olive oil.
  • Add the bacon to the pan and fry for about five minutes until the bacon has cooked and the fat is starting to crisp up.
  • Next add the onion and garlic until they start to soften and they are translucent in colour.
  • Put the tomatoes and the chicken stock into the pan along with the other ingredients.
  • Bring this to the boil.
  • Add the dried oregano, salt and pepper
  • Then turn down the heat to low and leave to simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.
  • Finally chop and add the kale until it wilts in the pan.
  • Finally, add the cream cheese and the rice or pasta to the sauce.
  • Grate the cheese on top.
tomato-and-bacon-risotto1

Tomato and Bacon Risotto in a  bowl

When I cooked this the other week I let the sauce cool down and blended it in the food processor. The reason being is that my son will not eat anything green so if I blend it he doesn’t know it’s in there. Then I put it back into the slow cooker and heated it through again. Finally I added the cream cheese, boiled rice and grated cheese to the sauce and Ted didn’t know it was in there. He ate the lot, phew. I’m not suggesting you do this but if you  have a little one that won’t eat his greens then give it a go blended. However you decide to eat this, as always, please enjoy.