A very simple risotto, with the saltiness of bacon and meatiness of mushrooms all you need. The twist is the lemon zest at the end, lots of parmesan and parsley. Serve with a rocket and parmesan salad.






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (10 votes)


  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 30 g butter
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 rashers bacon, keep some fat on, sliced
  • 200 g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 330 g (1½ cups) Arborio rice
  • 250 ml (1 cup) white wine
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice  
  • 95 g (1 cup) grated parmesan
  • 1 small bunch flat -leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • large handful rocket
  • shave parmesan, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Place the stock into a saucepan, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and keep at a very gentle simmer.  
  2. Meanwhile, heat a good drizzle of oil in a heavy–based pan over medium heat. Add the onion and stir until translucent. Add the bacon and cook until starting to brown. Add the mushrooms and stir continuously until golden and tender - they will absorb a lot of oil. Remove the onion, bacon and mushroom mixture from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add another good drizzle of olive oil and the butter to the pan. When the butter is foaming, add the rice and stir until translucent. Add the wine and simmer until nearly completely evaporated. Add a ladle of stock and stir until absorbed, then continuing adding stock, one ladleful at a time and waiting for the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next, until most of the stock has been added and the rice is al dente. This will take about 30 minutes, enjoy the time just stirring and maybe have a glass of wine!
  4. Before the last few ladles of stock are used up, turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the mushroom and bacon mix. At this point, you might find the risotto is tender enough, but if you think it needs a bit more stock, just ladle it in and it should absorb on its own without needing to return to the heat.
  5. Stir in the lemon zest, parmesan and at least half the parsley. Check the seasoning, then serve scattered with the remaining parsley.
  6. For the salad, place the rocket leaves in a serving bowl, top with a good handful of shaved parmesan, season to taste, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.