Risotto is one of Italy's best comfort food. It can be paired as a side or a main dish, but either way it's a wholesome meal that has so much potential. There are so many things you can do with risotto, you just have to experiment, keeping it simple like this recipe. Perfectly paired with a summer cabernet that you might want to start to get through the stirring.
4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
6 bacon slices, chopped
1 cup chopped shallots
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/3 cup Madeira, dry sherry or port (my favorite)
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup (2oz) grated fresh Asiago cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Bring stock to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil); keep warm over low heat. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 8 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon. Add shallots, oil, thyme, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 6 minutes or until shallots are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in mushrooms; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rice, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in Madeira, sherry or port; cook 1 minute or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup stock; cook 4 minutes or until the liquid is nearly abosorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Stir in the spinach; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with bacon.