Risotto with Peas & Pancetta
A lovely, light spring side dish or main course.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2-1/2 cups fresh peas, blanched
- 1/2 pound pancetta, cubed
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 5-6 cups stock, warmed for adding
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 stalks green garlic, or 2 cloves, minced
- 1-1/2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Ground black pepper
- 1 small container basil microgreens, or 30 basil leaves julienned
- Salt to taste.
Shell and blanch the peas by plunging into boiling salted for one minute. Cool in an ice bath, and reserve to add to the cooked risotto. Cube the pancetta and sauté until crispy. Reserve the crispy pancetta and leave the fat in the risotto pan. Bring stock to a simmer in a sauce pan. When adding stock to the rice, it must be hot, or it will delay the cooking process.
Sauté the diced onion in pancetta fat. When the onion is translucent, add the butter and risotto rice. Sauté the rice until it’s browned. Then deglaze with dry white wine, and begin adding the hot stock, one cup at a time. Stir continually, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. If you do not continue stirring, the starches in the rice will not develop. These starches result in the creamy texture of risotto.
When the stock is almost completely absorbed, add the next cup. This process will take 25-40 minutes. At optimal doneness, the rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy. You will need to taste as you go.
Stir in the Parmesan cheese, Basil microgreens, peas and pancetta and season to taste with salt and pepper.