This isn’t just a perfect summer risotto using fresh local peas and delicious pancetta, but can be made year ’round, tasting just as good with frozen peas. The trick with risotto is to take your time adding each ladle of stock and letting it completely absorb before you add the next one. Your patience will be rewarded with a deliciously creamy risotto full of flavour.
I adapted it from a recipe I found in my beloved LCBO Food & Drink. I really do feel bad for those of you who live outside of Ontario and can’t get this great free magazine that the liquor stores give out. Its all about pairing great recipes with wine, and in this case I’d suggest a nice Chardonnay. Use it for the wine in the recipe and of course have a glass while you’re cooking 🙂
What you’ll need:
6 cups Chicken Stock
3 1/2 oz (105g) Pancetta
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 large Onion, finely chopped
1 large sprig of Thyme
1 1/2 cups Risotto Rice (Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone)
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
1 cup Peas (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp Thyme Leaves
2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
Salt and Pepper
Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan until it comes to boil and then reduce to a simmer.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook gently for about 5 minutes until the fat renders out.
Keep stirring the rice while adding a ladleful of the hot stock, until it is completely absorbed. Continue adding additional ladlefuls one at a time, stirring until the previous liquid has been completely absorbed before adding the next, for about 15 minutes.
Add the peas and continue to cook, adding more ladelfuls of stock until the peas are cooked and the rice is creamy but still has a bit of bite to it, about another 5 minutes.
Remove the thyme sprig and stir in the additional thyme leaves. Stir in butter and salt and pepper.
Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. (Which I didn’t take a picture of). The second I put the Parmesan on this I had to eat it…couldn’t wait any longer…all thought left my mind…including taking the picture. Oh well, I’m sure you know what Parmesan looks like.
Makes 6 servings.