I had never made risotto before, and I had always been a little intimidated by it. My parents brought me home some carnaroli rice from their trip to Italy last summer, but I didn’t open up the vacuum-sealed package until last week because I was pretending to be on a diet for the wedding. Most recipes that I find call for arborio rice to use in risottos; arborio is a shorter grain, and while still chewy and able to hold up against the moisture well due to its high starch content, carnaroli is a more popular type of rice to use in risotto in Italy. The reason for this is that it has an even higher starch content, giving it an even firmer texture, that not only allows it to hold up extremely well against the liquid while still breaking down enough to be chewy and creamy, but it also has a longer grain and holds it shape better. Carnaroli is a more expensive rice in the United States, so if you can’t find it, arborio is very similar. If you can find carnaroli, though, I highly recommend it, as it called the “King of Rice” for a reason. Risotto itself originated in Northern Italy, where it is served as both a side dish and a main course, depending on what the risotto is made with. Making risotto can take a bit of time and attention, but it’s worth it. The rice is so delicate and creamy when it’s done, you’ll want to make it again and again. The creaminess stems from adding liquid a little bit at a time, so the rice can absorb it slowly become both fluffy and rich.
This particular risotto is unique in that not only does it involve everyone’s favorite meat, bacon, but a well is created in the middle of the piping hot rice and a raw egg yolk is placed in it. When serving, instruct your diners to stir the the yolk into the rest of the dish. The heat will cook the yolk slightly, while creating a beautifully luscious sauce. Egg yolk is, in my opinion, nature’s perfect sauce, after all. I ate this for breakfast this morning with another fried egg. Give it a try!