French Fridays with Dorie: Dressy pasta “risotto”

mac and cheese with bacon and leeks on eatlivetravelwite.comHappy New Year! As you read this I am winging my way back to Toronto (and ridiculous sub-zero temperatures) after two wonderful weeks with my mum and dad, extended family and various friends in Sydney and Adelaide. As you’ll have read from my last French Fridays with Dorie post (Gravlax), my mum and dad were participants in the FFWD experience – they got to taste three dishes that I managed to work into the holiday menus as I am wont to do – even if sometimes it’s a little awkward (many of my friends have eaten whole “Dorie” dinners at my house consisting of three or four dishes that may or may not go together depending on the month’s selection of recipes but they are willing taste testers anyway!).

This week’s recipe – dressy pasta “risotto” (p 369) was one that I managed to fit into a New Year’s brunch (we’d had a late dinner the night before and a later dinner reservation that evening so brunch seemed to make sense and instead of the regular bacon and egg-type dishes, I thought that minifying this dish into tiny ramekin-sized portions and adding some leeks and bacon à la one of the “bonnes idées” might just work with a green salad for brunch.  I know my mum was skeptical but it really worked.

Pasta risotto from Around my French Table on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt’s actually nothing to do with “risotto” – rather, its a fancy mac n’ cheese and the only thing vaguely risotto-ish about it is that you add the pasta to the boiling stock and let it simmer until the liquid is absorbed – much like a risotto but not really.  In any case, I substituted Greek yoghurt for mascarpone and added some sautéed bacon and leeks to the mix. It really was very tasty and in the 1/2 cup size serves it was perfect with a tossed green salad as part of a brunch.

I reckon those leftovers in the fridge will taste even better a couple of days later so don’t forget about them, mum!


French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs (though this week, you can find the recipe online here), we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Go on, treat yourself then join us here!


Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links.  If you click on these links and purchase the product I have linked to or any other product, I will receive a small percentage of the sale price.

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29 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Dressy pasta “risotto”

  1. yummychunklet January 3, 2014 at 10:54 #

    Love that garnish on top!

  2. EmilyC January 3, 2014 at 11:42 #

    Looking FAB! and thanks for the tip on greek yogurt – will keep this in mind the next time I make this!

  3. Adriana January 3, 2014 at 11:56 #

    Ramekins make any dish automatically cuter. The bacon and leeks bon idee caught my eye, but I ended up reworking with what I had on hand. Either way, I was pleasantly surprised with how much flavor the pasta absorbed.

    Safe travels back home Mardi. I’ve loved seeing your pictures from your visit on Instagram.

  4. Cher January 3, 2014 at 12:04 #

    Minifying any dish makes it special, just because. And bacon, well… that just seals the deal.

    Safe travels – I hope Mr. Neil is greeting you with a warm coat and some hot bricks for your feet 🙂

  5. Renee January 3, 2014 at 13:48 #

    Love that you added leeks and bacon and made them in ramekins. Terrific idea for a brunch party! Safe travels!

  6. Sara January 3, 2014 at 15:21 #

    Nice additions, Mardi! That bacon garnish looks terrific!
    Safe travels!

  7. Diane Balch January 3, 2014 at 16:47 #

    So impressive that you kept up on FFWD on your trip… love the leeks and bacon another wonderful way to make this crowd pleasing dish.

  8. Kathy January 3, 2014 at 16:48 #

    A perfect brunch dish! I love your additions, and the ramekins look so pretty with the bacon garnish. Yum! Happy New year Mardi!

  9. Christy @ Confessions of a Culinary Diva January 3, 2014 at 17:51 #

    Happy New Year Mardi! Your photos of your excursions on Instagram were fabulous. I’m always so impressed that you are able to keep up with posting, cooking and traveling at the same time. I need a few lessons from you!

  10. Geoff January 3, 2014 at 20:22 #

    I was one of the taste testers and can confirm… for a very tiny dish, it was both filling and really tasty. It’s a lovely brunch dish. And, by the way, preparing the dish made the house smell really nice as well.

  11. Cakelaw January 3, 2014 at 20:43 #

    Great idea to serve in ramekins for individual serves! Hope this finds you safely back in Toronto.

  12. Geraldine Saucier January 3, 2014 at 21:20 #

    Risotto looks wonderful. Like the idea of serving this dish in ramekins. Great toppings:)

  13. Guyla January 4, 2014 at 09:55 #

    Can’t go wrong adding leeks and bacon! Sorry you’re returning to such cold temps! Two weeks with family sounds wonderful! I’m sure your regular life is welcoming you back though!

  14. Candy (Dulce) January 4, 2014 at 13:17 #

    I’m so happy that you’ve had a great trip. Of course that whole hemisphere thing is catching up to you now. When I lived in Australia, at least I was going back and forth to Arizona – but still. A shock!

    So happy that your family enjoyed this recipe. I thought it was really yummy. Served on NYE with some focaccia and champagne. Happy New YEar!

  15. Cristina January 4, 2014 at 17:32 #

    This looks so yummy! I’ve been thinking that I’d love to join the French Fridays with Dorie, but I’m about to have a baby, so I’ve been putting it off. You guys must be more than halfway done with Around My French Table, right? Are you planning on joining another cooking club afterward? I love reading your posts and seeing what you’re cooking up. : )

  16. Alice January 4, 2014 at 18:14 #

    fancy schmancy! 🙂 looks like a lovely meal for you to serve to anyone! 🙂 We have had whole “Dorie” dinners too! LOL, we love those!

  17. Liz January 4, 2014 at 22:04 #

    Bacon could only have made this more incredible! I think you may want to head back to Australia…this weather is ridiculous!!! But welcome back anyway 🙂

  18. Ei January 5, 2014 at 12:49 #

    I love the idea of subbing the mascarpone with greek yogurt. I’m more likely to make this more often if it’s lightened up a bit. Yours looks so good!

  19. Maria @ Box of Stolen Socks January 5, 2014 at 17:05 #

    Yeah bacon! Next time I make this there is going to be bacon in there for sure!!!

  20. Tricia S. January 5, 2014 at 17:48 #

    What a wonderful trip you have had and kudos for keeping up with the FFWD schedule. It is always fun when we can make a dish away from home and even more so when we can share it with loved ones.l The ramekins not only looked adorable but they were a wise way to monitor the serving size of what ended up a wonderfully rich dish. My family loved it and I look forward to repeating it – probably with a bit of bacon the next time !

  21. Margaret January 5, 2014 at 23:36 #

    Boy, talk about weather shock!! I like the addition of the leeks and bacon. I made mine plain the first time just to see. Definitely a repeat.

  22. Pam M January 5, 2014 at 23:56 #

    You were right about the leftovers. I had some cold, and it was just, if not, more delicious than warm. Jess ( the dog) loved it too!
    Nice to have an in-house chef for two weeks.

  23. Trevor Sis. Boom. January 6, 2014 at 00:55 #

    Delish Mardi! Seeing those like that I want to crack a soft boiled egg on them! Hmm..

    • Amy Andrews January 6, 2014 at 15:01 #

      Oh ya…that sounds pretty good! Yay bacon and eggs!

  24. Rose January 6, 2014 at 14:39 #

    Welcome home. With the temps I’m hearing about on the news, you’re probably already wishing that you had extended your stay down under.

  25. Amy Andrews January 6, 2014 at 15:02 #

    Let’s have the leftover report from mom when you have a second. I bet they were deelish! Love the ramekin idea and will do that if/when I get back to this recipe.

  26. KarenP January 7, 2014 at 20:21 #

    I love seeing all the different versions of this dish – yours looks wonderful!

  27. betsy January 11, 2014 at 21:15 #

    Happy New Year, Mardi! Glad you could recruit the whole family into taste tasting Dorie recipes on your vacation. Your version sounds terrific with the bacon and leeks.

  28. jora January 15, 2014 at 11:56 #

    I’m really glad to know this recipe worked with Greek yogurt. That just might inspire me to make it again!

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