Monday, June 24, 2013

I’ve gotten to play some of the new “New Super Luigi World U” DLC for the Wii U. In this Year of Luigi, it was only a matter of time that the other brother got some major props in one of the most popular Wii U titles.

The really unique gameplay mechanic with Luigi’s part is limiting the player to 100 seconds to get through the map. I find that a bit at odds with what I would expect from timid Luigi.

Since the boys are Italian, I would imagine their dining table to be full of culinary delights from Italy. For some reason, I think Mario is more into the long-form, quick cooking pasta like spaghetti.

Luigi, on the other hand, would be more into the short pastas that take a bit of care and time. Having garnered some fresh sweet peas from a local farmer and with Italians on my mind, I decided to make a pea and bacon risotto.

Because bacon goes with everything.

Here are your ingredients:
  • 3 ½ cups of reduced sodium chicken broth (keep that heart healthy)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup fresh peas
  • 4 T grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • ½ t grated lemon zest
  • ½ t fresh lemon juice

Start by heating up the broth and water together to get it to a simmer. You don’t need a rolling boil on this. If you have a large enough measuring cup, you could even do it in the microwave.

Chop up your bacon. I like cutting bacon into thin strips rather than chopping because it adds texture to the dish and looks nicer on the plate at the end.

Cook the bacon in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the bacon is crisp but not charcoal. Remove the bacon, leaving behind the liquid love known as bacon fat.

Add the minced garlic to the bacon fat and stir. Be very careful here because the garlic can burn on you in a hurry. Give it about 20 to 30 seconds then add the rice.

Stir the rice to coat it in the garlic and bacon fat.  Let that cook for about a minute or two.

Here is where you will need some patience. Add some of the hot broth mixture (about ½ to ¾ cup) to the rice and let it simmer, stirring constantly. Do not add any more until most of the broth has been absorbed.

Repeat this process of adding and waiting until the rice is tender and creamy. You may have extra broth, but that’s okay. The whole thing should take about 20 minutes.

Add the peas. I used fresh peas, but frozen will work. The taste won’t be the same, but go with what you have.

Take the pot off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring after each addition. If your risotto gets too thick, you can thin it out with some of your leftover broth. Use sparingly.

Serve the risotto in a bowl and top with the strips of bacon. It not only looks good, but is very tasty.

Now that you have a full belly, go play “New Super Luigi U” and feel satisfied.

Happy gaming!


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