I have never made a risotto before….. I know, I know, how has this happened… I don’t know! I think risotto for me has always been a bit scary, if you do not get it right then you can end up with crunchy rice or a claggy mess. Also, risotto takes time, and finding the time to make it with the care and attention it deserves is a rare thing, but find the time I did!
For my first ever risotto I decided a recipe was needed and I need to stick to it ( I have a tendency to use a recipe as a starting point but then head off on my own). So staying Italian and traditional I am finding inspiration from two Italian cooking gods Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo and this recipe is based on the Risotto with mixed mushrooms recipe in The Greedy Italians Eat Italy book. ( I of course went off piste and changed it up a little bit!)
Mushroom and Pancetta Risotto
300g Portobello mushrooms ( sliced)
1 small onion ( chopped)
100g chopped pancetta
300g risotto rice
1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to season
olive oil or olive oil spray
knob of butter
Clean the mushrooms and slice.
Fry the onion in some oil or spray oil, after a couple of minutes add the pancetta and fry until the pancetta is cooked. When the onions and pancetta begin to colour add the mushrooms to the pan and continue to fry over a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
Add the rice to the pan and stir for a minute until all the grains are coated in the fat. Start to add the stock ( preferably hot) ladle by ladle. Wait until each ladle full is absorbed before adding the next one. This is where patience is key!
When the rice is al dente, remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and stir in the parmesan and the butter.