A little over a year ago, homemade risotto came into my life. I had always enjoyed it, but had not delved into creating the dish in my own kitchen. Annnnnd now that I’ve started, I have not looked back. It’s been full throttle forward since making that first spinach and artichoke risotto.
Now that I have the basic method down to a science (relatively), my mind wants to come up with the best combinations of flavors to add to the rice. I’ve used Fabio Viviani’s spinach and artichoke risotto as the base (since it works so well. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!), and tweaked the ingredients. Of the variations I’ve created, there is definitely one that has stood out lately: a risotto with pancetta and mushrooms. I’ve made it at home…I’ve made it for family at Christmas…I’ve made it for out of town guests. It’s pretty much a crowd pleaser.
I mean, the ingredients alone should just be enough. Crispy pancetta…sauteed mushrooms…wine! Such creamy, delicious goodness. I honestly could just eat the entire pot of risotto by myself, and I don’t require any other main course. Just the risotto. I’d be a happy camper. It is honestly worth the hour it takes to lovingly stir the dish from start to finish. Think about making this dish some time if you haven’t already!
Do you love risotto too?
Pancetta and Mushroom Risotto
3 tbsp butter
1/3 lb pancetta, diced
1 pint mushrooms, diced
1 1/3 cup arborio rice
2 qt chicken stock, hot
1 cup red wine
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large saute pan, heat up 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add the diced pancetta and a pinch of salt, then saute until the pancetta is crisp and golden brown. This process takes about 5 minutes. When complete, add in the diced mushrooms and saute about 2 minutes until they are tender. Meanwhile, add the chicken stock to a separate pot and place the burner on low to heat through.
2. Next, add the arborio rice to the pan. Toast the rice in the pan for a few minutes. The rice will become opaque. When the rice is toasted/opaque, add the red wine, then simmer until the wine is almost completely absorbed (about 3-4 minutes).
3. After the wine is almost absorbed, begin adding the stock one ladle at a time. You should add just enough stock to cover the rice, then stir frequently until almost all of it is absorbed. Continue the process of adding the stock by the ladle until all is absorbed.
4. When the risotto has absorbed all of the stock, remove the pan from heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and grated parmesan cheese. Fold together to incorporate. Serve warm with additional parmesan cheese. Enjoy!