I have spent most of my life in Leith and love to take advantage of what Edinburgh has to offer, particularly food and drink!
Published June 19th 2013
A Summery Risotto With Classic Flavour Combinations
Risotto con Pancetta e Piselli
Risotto can be a heavy 'winter warmer' however this simple recipe uses fresh summer ingredients that compliment each other perfectly and can be enjoyed all year round.
2 tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 clove of garlic, crushed 80g petit pois or garden peas 100g pancetta (or substitute unsmoked bacon lardons) 200g risotto rice (ideally Carnaroli or Arborio) 125ml dry white wine (or vermouth)
500ml chicken stock
Juice of half a lemon
1 knob of butter
50g parmesan cheese, finely grated
Small bunch parsley, finely chopped
Blanche the peas for 2 minutes and set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large-based pan or frying pan and sweat the onions over a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the pancetta and fry for a few more minutes until cooked but not brown. Add the other tablespoon of olive oil along with the rice and the garlic and start timing (see below). Continue cooking for a couple of minutes, turning the rice to coat in the oil. When the rice turns translucent and the grains crack add the wine and, reducing the heat slightly, reduce the liquid, constantly but gently stirring the contents of the pan to prevent the rice sticking. When the liquid has almost evaporated begin adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, reducing the liquid before adding more. Remember to keep stirring! If the rice does stick pour a little stock over it and gently loosen the grains, if this is happening a lot reduce the heat. If the stock doesn't stretch to the end of cooking you can add some freshly boiled water. A few minutes before the dish is cooked add the peas and lemon juice. When ready, remove from the heat and combine with the butter, parmesan and parsley to create a smooth, creamy mixture. Season with pepper and serve.
Timing this dish comes down to personal preference. I prefer the rice al dente (with a slight bite) and time it for around 15 minutes from the time that it hits the pan. If you prefer it softer taste it towards the end of cooking to achieve the desired texture and determine how long that takes. The other debate surrounds how liquid the dish should be. I prefer it quite wet though some prefer a stodgier consistency. Again use your discretion.