If you’re bored with pasta and ready for a new challenge, especially one that will impress your dinner guests and require just a little more attention in the kitchen, then you’re ready for risotto. You may have been warned that risotto will involve a good twenty minutes or more of constant stirring while hovering over a steaming pot of deliciousness, but I can promise you that your effort will be handsomely rewarded with this cheesy, decadent dish.
I chose to use several bold flavors in this particular risotto. Mushrooms of any kind will go well with this dish; oysters, criminis, baby bellas, or any combination you like.
I chose to use leeks over shallots or onions for their sweet, buttery flavor that pairs well with the butter and Parmesan that finish the dish.
Pancetta, like bacon, is cured and made from pork belly, but lacks the characteristic smoky flavor of bacon.
Use this recipe as a template for creating future risotto recipes of your own, or simply follow my recipe below.
Cheesy Pancetta and Mushroom Risotto with Leeks
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 leeks
- 8 oz mushrooms
- 1/2 lb pancetta
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- 1/2 cup white wine
Bring 4 cups of stock to a low boil in a medium pot.
Roughly chop the mushrooms. Wash and thinly slice the leeks. Cut the pancetta into small cubes.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, for 6 minutes. Add leeks and mushrooms, cook 3-4 minutes or until soft.
Deglaze bottom of pan with wine. Add rice and stir until translucent, about 1 minute.
Add broth, about 1/2 cup (or 1 ladle full) at a time to pot. Allow liquid to absorb before adding more. Stir frequently to prevent the rice from sticking. Repeat until rice is al dente and a loose sauce has formed.
Reduce heat to low and add butter and Parmesan, stir to combine until the mixture is creamy and thick.
Garnish with roughly chopped parsley.