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Drunken Risotto with Spinach and Speck

Drunken Risotto with Spinach and Speck


  • 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1/4-1/2 pound speck or smoky bacon, finely chopped

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped

  • 1 cup dry red wine

  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, chopped

  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste


Warm the stock and 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat. In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the speck (or bacon) and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the onion and garlic to soften for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice to toast for a minute; season with salt, pepper and the thyme. Add the wine and cook to evaporate, then begin ladling in the warm stock, allowing all of the liquid to be absorbed before adding more, stirring vigorously to develop the starch, until the rice is al dente, 18 minutes from the first addition of liquid (you may have a ladle or so of liquid left). Stir the cheese and butter into the risotto to melt. Add the spinach to wilt; season with the nutmeg. Top with more cheese.