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August 07, 2015

Pancetta and Herb Risotto

Risotto is made with Arborio rice, a very traditional Italian dish. There have been many variations created with added ingredients such as shrimp, vegetables and cheese but the basic recipe is standard. The dish begins by sautéing onions and rice, stirring in white wine and adding hot broth until the rice is creamy and tender.

To serve this as a vegetarian dish, omit the pancetta and replace the chicken stock with tomato juice.

Wine Pairing: A French or Spanish Rose wine

Serves 6


1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup pancetta, cut into ¼ inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
¼ cup parmesan Reggiano cheese, freshly grated plus more for garnishing


In a medium nonreactive saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil over moderately high heat; keep warm. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large nonreactive saucepan. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until translucent, about 2 minutes, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until almost completely absorbed, about 7 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the broth to the rice and simmer over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until almost all of the broth is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of broth and stir constantly until absorbed. Continue adding broth to the risotto, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until absorbed before adding more.

Stir in the pancetta, thyme, rosemary and parmesan about 5 minutes before the rice is done. The rice is done when it's al dente and lightly bound with creamy cooking liquid; about 20 minutes total cooking time. Season the risotto with salt and pepper. Top with additional parmesan and serve.

Cooking Wiser:
Sautéing the rice before adding the liquid will the total amount of cooking time

Keeping the liquid warm will prevent the rice from cooking down each time you add more

Be sure you reserve enough time to keep a close watch on the rice, it will dry out and burn before you know it.

Posted by terri at August 7, 2015 03:22 AM