Creamy Parmesan Risotto with Bacon and Walnuts Recipe courtesy of Grace Choi


Balsamic Vinegar Reduction:

  • 1 cup Pompeian Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave or honey, optional


  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup diced bacon
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for serving

For the balsamic vinegar reduction: Make sure your home is well ventilated, as vinegar releases a strong essence as it cooks down. Combine the balsamic vinegar and agave, if using, in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by two-thirds (down to about 5 tablespoons), 20 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before use so that it thickens up nicely.

For the risotto: Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a large pot, then cover and keep warm on low heat.

Set a saucepan over medium heat and add the Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add the shallots and bacon and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon has rendered much of its fat and the shallots are soft but not caramelized, about 8 minutes.

Add the rice and a good sprinkle of salt (you can add more afterwards). Stir until the rice becomes almost translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 3 ladles (or about 1 cup) of hot vegetable stock to the rice and stir slowly, using an arc-like motion that starts from the far edge of the pot and circles towards the middle. This allows you to make sure the edges don't burn, without overworking the rice.

Once all the stock has been absorbed by the rice, repeat this process with the remaining stock, adding the liquid in batches and stirring gently as it is absorbed each time. Continue until the rice is al dente, 20 to 25 minutes total; you may not need all the stock. Stir in the grated Parmesan, then season with salt and pepper if needed.

Spoon out onto individual plates, then garnish with the chopped walnuts, a light drizzle of the balsamic vinegar reduction and the Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

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