Saffron risotto with leek and crispy baconLorenzo Noccioli, 26 Nov 2012, Magazine
One ore before preparing the risotto, put the saffron stems in a cup with some hot vegetable stock.
For the bacon: from a slice remove the fat and keep it, cut the lean part in julienne (very thin, regular strips) and dry it along the other slice in a preheated oven (150°C/300° F) until crispy.Cut the leeks in thin rounds and sweat them in butter with a little of water; once soft add the rice, a little bit of salt and let it toast for some minutes.
Cook the rice continuously stirring it and moisting with stock as needed, use the saffron stock torward the end; it will take from 15 to 18 to cook the rice “al dente“.
Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the stove, add the crushed crsipy bacon slice, and cream it using the reserved bacon fat and a little of Parmigiano Reggiano, adjust with some more stock if needed and seasin with salt and pepper.
Serve the rice topped with the bacon julienne and a couple of saffron stems.
Once the rice is toased, you can add some white wine and let it evaporate.
If you prefer a rice similar to Risotto alla Milanese use beef stock instead than vegetable stock.
Saffron is used to give just a subtle smell to the risotto, it shoudn’t give too much yellow to the finished product. If you prefere a stronger flavour/colour, increase saffron quantity.