Pancetta Risotto

Risotto has always intimidated me.  I have had arborio rice in my cupboard for the longest time waiting to be used, but never built up the the confidence or the know-how to actually make it.  Until I came across Fabio Viviani's Easy Pancetta Risotto recipe.  He is one of my favorite contestants on Top Chef and he made it look so easy! I tried it and honestly, I was babysitting it at first but it was really very easy.  A 2 out of 10 on the difficulty scale (10 being the most difficult).

The panchetta and parmesan give it a nice amount of seasoning where adding salt is not necessary.  The lemon and the parsley really cut through and balance the flavors well.  Here's how I made it.

for 2 people. Double the ingredients for 4 people
1 Tbs olive oil
4 oz. of pancetta
2 handfuls of arborio rice
1 quart of chicken stock
pinch of black pepper
1 Tbs of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
zest of 1 lemon
little bit of chopped Italian parsley for garnish

1. Heat a large pot under medium heat and add olive oil.  Add the pancetta and black pepper and render the fat for about 2 mins until it is golden brown.

2. Add the arborio rice and stir.  Let the rice absorb some of the oils.  About 2 mins.

3. Add the chicken stock until just barely above the rice line.  Lower the heat to medium-low and let simmer until it has absorbed the liquid and the rice and the broth meet at the same level.

No need to stir.  The simmering action stirs up the ingredients for you!

4. Repeat number 3 over and over until the rice is tender.  It took me three more times.

 5. Turn off the heat and add the butter, parmesan and lemon zest.

6. Fill up your bowl and garnish with more parmesan (cause I like it cheesy) and parsley.
 This is definitely a comforting bowl of rice.  I think any warm starch in a bowl that is made with time and care is always comforting.  The action of having to watch your risotto to make sure the broth doesn't evaporate and burn the rice is an act of love.  Thanks Fabio for this uncomplicated recipe!  Now the question is, which intimidating recipe should I tackle next?

Watch a video of Fabio making the risotto here.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Can't go wrong with pancetta and risotto. Fabio is my fan fav :)


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