Nov 7, 2013

Sweet Potatoes on the Side of the Road {Bacon, Sweet Potato and Sage Baked Risotto}

I don't know what's in season where you live, but where I live it's sweet potatoes.
Bacon, Sweet Potato and Sage Baked Risotto

This week I Heart Cooking Clubs is cooking what's In Season.  I chose Donna Hay's Bacon, Sweet Potato, & Sage Baked Risotto.

Bacon's always in season at my house.  But it's the sweet potatoes I was really thinking about.
Bacon, Sweet Potato and Sage Baked Risotto

When I drive through town, local farmers with still-dirty hands sit on open tailgates along the roads.  Sacks of sweet potatoes laid like bricks in the backs of pickup trucks.  Freshly dug from the field.

 $5.00 a sack the handwritten sign says.
An old, rough, dusty hand waves.  An old, rough, dusty face smiles.
Good old-fashioned marketing.

Review: As usual Donna Hay has an easy recipe.  This is time consuming, but most of the time spent is hands off.  Instead of standing at the stove, stirring and stirring, and stirring some more, Donna Hay's risotto is baked in the oven.  I can appreciate the idea...use the oven, go do something else.  But much like making roux, I like making risotto because of the constant stirring.

I roasted the sweet potatoes the day before and reheated them before stirring into the risotto.  I also used bacon--the original recipe uses pancetta.  Instead of frying the sage in butter, I just tossed the leaves into the bacon drippings instead of dirtying another pan.

The mixture of sweet potatoes, sage, and smoky bacon came together in a dish perfect for Fall.

More "In Season" Donna Hay recipes can be found at IHCC.
IHCC Donna Hay Badge resized

Donna Hay's Original Recipe

Print It

Bacon, Sweet Potato and Sage Baked Risotto
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1" cubes
olive oil
5 slices bacon, divided
¼ cup small sage leaves
1 ½ cup arborio rice
4 ½ cups chicken stock
salt and black pepper to taste
1 ¼ cup finely grated parmesan, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Add the sweet potatoes to a baking pan and toss with enough olive oil to coat.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.  *The sweet potatoes can be roasted the day before.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  Heat before using in the recipe.*

Stir the rice and chicken stock together in a 13 x 9 baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is al dente.

While the risotto bakes, heat a skillet over medium heat. Fry the bacon until crispy.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.  Crumble when cool enough to handle, reserving one slice for garnish.

Lower the heat to medium low.  Add the sage leaves to the bacon drippings and fry for a minute or so--until crispy.  Set on paper towels to drain.

When the risotto is done, season with salt and pepper.  Stir in 1 cup parmesan, sweet potatoes, and bacon.  Scatter the crispy sage, reserved bacon, and 1/4 cup Parmesan over the top.  Serves 4.

More Risotto:
Risotto Stuffed Tomatoes: Ms. enPlace   



  1. I loooooooooooove sweet potatoes (much more that potatoes) and can it them almost every day.
    But I need to omit the bacon (forbidden for us)

  2. Ha! great minds think alike! I loved the image you paint of the road side truck stands with veg for sale ... reminds me of living up in the St Lawrence Valley and seeing the farmers at the side of the road with corn and tomatoes during high summer and potatoes and squash come Fall. This was a really good dish ... I'll def make it again, but I'll be stirring the risotto as I am wont to do ... wink!

  3. I am with Winnie on this -no bacon-not allowed but love the sweet potatoes and I love the idea of baked risotto . Unlike you, I can do without the stirring. I guess, I win the lazy award for today.

  4. Looks divine and baked risotto with bacon, sweet potato, and sage is now on my "must try" list! Merci for another great recipe. cher!

  5. This sounds absolutely delicious, Michelle! I agree with you about it always being bacon season ;) Sweet potatoes are a favorite at our house - especially this time of year!

  6. I wonder if you could double or triple the recipe for crowds if you are baking it in the oven anyway? The fact that you fried the sage in bacon fat is why we are friends. ;)

  7. Oh, another good DH recipe, you did a very nice job here. Love the combo of Flavors.

  8. That looks delicious and the ingredients in this dish seem to belong together. I love the idea of baking a risotto...I'm going to have to give this technique a try.

  9. It's fun when someone makes a recipe I've already made and talks about what they thought about it...sometimes I love the ease of just sticking the whole thing in the oven and sometimes I like to stir...both seem to net desirable results. Sweet potatoes for $5 a bag, lucky you!!! Sometimes my sweet potatoes are a dollar each!

  10. Michelle, I love the flavour combination in this and I still have the remnants of a bag of end of season sweet potatoes sitting in my pantry. I also have chorizo sausage on hand which would make up the porcine component of the dish nicely, and even though it's spring time here, evenings are still cool enough for a comforting bowl of risotto. I love that the sweet potato could be roasted the day before - I often include them with a roast chicken, so this would be a great way of using the leftovers. I agree with you about the method though. I can appreciate that baking risotto is great for busy people, but I personally love the standing and stirring and I'd feel a bit cheated if I left that out.

  11. Hi Michelle,
    Such a delicious plate of risotto! Have seen it at Susan's and now yours, I'm so tempted to give this a try! Got to get some arborio rice first! I like all the ingredients, especially the sweet potatoes, sounds interesting to add to a risotto dish!

  12. Se ven muy delicio su risotto es difícil conseguir arroz arborio ,tomo nota de la receta,abrazos.

  13. I don't make risotto enough because of all the stirring...but a baked version would totally make me happy! Especially with sweet potatoes in it!

  14. Your dish looks wonderful. I find the thought of making risotto daunting. The only time I made it was by baking and it was a DH recipe.

  15. This is the second post I have read on this one 😊 Must be a sign to make it! And despite it being spring here I think I could eat this just about any time! I love all the flavors & especially that crispy sage.

  16. I go back and forth on the bake-in-the-oven risottos too--I like the ease of it but I really consider the stirring my "zen" time to clear my mind and relax. This looks fabulous--crispy sage is one of my favorite garnishes. ;-)

  17. I like that you and Susan both chose to make this recipe on the stovetop using the good ol' fashioned stirring method. I'm sure I would find myself doing it the same way. Love your description of the old, rough, dusty faces selling sweet potatoes. Much rather buy from them than the store. This looks like one gorgeous risotto. I will definitely add it to my "must make" list of recipes to try!

  18. Risotto is popular this week. This looks really really good. Love the combo. I like the idea of baking the risotto. Have done it before and it is really easy.


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