Risotto is one of the easiest things to make – all you need is a few ingredients and a bit of patience – but it can also be one of the most delectable. When prepared properly it’s delicate, creamy texture can be both luxurious and comforting. It’s also a versatile dish that can be made year-round using seasonal ingredients. One of my favorite summer risotto uses pancetta (or bacon in a pinch) and fresh sweet corn.
- 1 cup of arborio rice
- 6 cups of chicken stock (preferably homemade)
- 4 oz pancetta (or bacon)
- 1 large shallot
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1.5 cups of corn (cut from 2 ears)
- 1 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Chives for garnish
- Bring the stock to a simmer in the pot.
- Fry the pancetta in a large pan over medium heat until brown. The pancetta itself should render enough fat to fry, but if the pan is too dry add a little olive oil.
- Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and reserve, but leave the fat in the pan.
- Add the shallots to the fat, and saute until they just begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir. Cook for a minute or so until it has absorbed the oil and starts to look a little translucent.
- Add the wine, stir.
- When the wine is mostly gone, start adding the stock one half cup at a time. Wait until the stock is mostly absorbed before adding another half cup of the stock.
- When the stock is about halfway gone, add the corn.
- Continue adding stock in ½ cup increments. When you run low on stock, taste the risotto and see if its tender. If it’s not tender, keep adding stock.
- When the rice is tender, stir in the Parmesan, butter, and half of the pancetta. Turn off the heat. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately. Sprinkle the remaining pancetta and the chives over the risotto.
- Make sure the stock is simmering when you add it. Do not add cold stock.
- Make sure you only add stock ½ cup at a time, and wait until it’s mostly absorbed between additions. This is how you get the creamy texture.
- Stir often or your rice will stick.
- If you run out of stock, you can use water – just make sure to warm it up before adding.