Spring Pea, Leek and Arugula Risotto

Freshly picked peas, leeks and wild arugula are the stars in this creamy spring risotto. Risotto is very simple to make, though it does require one to stir the pot.  I highly recommend that you turn on some music, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the process--pour, stir and simmer (and sip). Repeat.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Yield: serves 4 with leftovers

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup minced shallot
2 leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups Arborio rice
1 quart chicken stock, simmering (I heat mine in a Pyrex pitcher in the microwave)
1 cup freshly shelled English peas
3 large handfuls of arugula, wild or otherwise.
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Preparation:

1. Heat butter and oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the shallot and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Add rice and stir until grains are coated with the oil and butter.  Add the wine and simmer until it is almost completely absorbed.

3. Add one cup of warmed stock to the rice.  Simmer gently, and stir occasionally, until broth is almost absorbed.  Continue in this way, adding broth in one cup increments until all the broth has been used, and rice is tender and creamy. It should take around 20 minutes.

4.  During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the peas. The heat from the rice should cook them sufficiently.  When the rice is done, stir in the arugula, one handful at a time, until it is wilted. Stir in the cheese and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary.

5. Serve the risotto immediately in wide bowls, topped with additional Parmesan cheese and crispy bacon if using.
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