Risotto alla Carbonara

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 2


4 ounces bacon, diced (or guanciale or pancetta)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion or shallot (about 2 small shallots)
2/3 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine
3 – 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, kept hot in a separate saucepan over low heat
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoon heavy cream
A few handfuls of fresh baby spinach
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Finely grated Pecorino Romano, to taste, plus shavings for garnish


  1. Starting from a cold pan, heat the bacon in the olive oil until it has crisped up significantly and rendered down much of its fat, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside for later.
  2. Pour out the fat, reserving 1 tablespoon in the pan. Sauté the onion in the bacon fat for 1 minute.
  3. Add the rice and saute for 1 minute.
  4. Splash in the wine and reduce completely.
  5. Slowly stir in the hot chicken broth, one ladleful at a time. Add more broth once the last addition has been fully absorbed by the rice. This should take about 16 minutes.
  6. When rice is al dente, remove from heat, cover, and let sit to finish cooking while you prepare the egg mixture.
  7. Fold in spinach to risotto.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk, cream, black pepper, and as much cheese as you want (you can add more later) into a pale-yellow emulsion, which should then be folded into the still-warm risotto, loosening it up a bit.
  9. Plate risotto. Top with the reserved crispy bacon, a few large shavings of Pecorino, and a very generous crack of black pepper.


Adapted from Food52.

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