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.
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.
6. Fill up your bowl and garnish with more parmesan (cause I like it cheesy) and parsley.
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.