Sweet Potato Risotto

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This recipe is purely the result of trying to use up some items in the kitchen cabinet.  I had a bag of Arborio rice that I had long ago intended to turn into Greek rice pudding, but that never happened.  And the sweet potatoes from the CSA are piling up in a bowl on the counter.  I figured maybe there was a way to kill a couple birds with that same stone and make a sweet potato risotto dish.  Yes, I am well aware that risotto is not supposed to “mound” but when you add mashed sweet potatoes to an otherwise finished risotto dish, the serve to make it substantially ticker and, well, mound-ier.

Sweet Potato Risotto

Drizzle of olive oil

1 c Arborio rice

5 c vegetable stock

8 oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes

1/2 t paprika

salt and pepper

1/2 c Parmesan cheese

1/4 c minced parsley

4 strips of bacon, cooked crisp, crumbled

Heat a large, wide pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the Arborio rice and toast, stirring occasionally, until the rice begins to give off a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes.  Once the rice is toasted, begin adding the stock about 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring frequently.  Do not make the next addition of stock until the previous addition has been completely absorbed by the rice.  It will take 20-30 minutes for all the liquid to be absorbed.  Cook until the rice is al dente.  It may not take all the liquid, it may take slightly more.  Pay attention to the texture of the rice, not the specific measurement of vegetable stock.

While the rice is cooking, steam the sweet potatoes.  You can steam them by either using a small saucepan and steamer basket, using “zip and steam” plastic bags, or by putting the potatoes in a microwave save container with a couple tablespoons of water, covering, and microwaving for about 10 minutes.  Steam the potatoes until they are tender and beginning to fall apart, about 10 minutes using the old saucepan and water method.  Drain the water, and mash the potatoes until the are lump-free using either a fork or potato masher.

Once the risotto is cooked al dente, stir in the mashed sweet potatoes, seasonings, Parmesan, and parsley.  Top with crumbled bacon and more Parm, if you so choose.

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