Pan Macmillan Aust
“Chuck it in, it’ll be right! This is the attitude I take whenever I make this risotto. I’ve tweaked
the recipe a few times since first eating it at my sister Suzy’s place many, many years ago. The
pancetta is the secret: the smell and crispness is next level and I highly recommend you add
a few extra slices for yourself while no one else is looking. Let’s get crackling, I mean cracking.”p88
Grab all of this
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
440 g (2 cups) arborio rice
1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Vegeta stock powder
300 g sliced pancetta
100 g (1 cup) sugar snap peas, trimmed
50 g salted butter
75 g (¾ cup) grated parmesan
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
60 g baby rocket
It’s time to do this
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Heat the vegetable oil in a flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the rice and give it a good stir for about 1 minute, then add 250 ml (1 cup) of the vegetable stock and let it simmer until the stock has almost disappeared. Pour in the remaining vegetable stock and the Vegeta, then cover with the lid or foil and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the pancetta on the prepared tray and bake in the oven for the last 15 minutes of the risotto cooking time, until crisp. Keep an eye on it as the thickness of the slices will determine just how quickly they cook.
Now blanch the sugar snap peas in boiling water for 1–2 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Remove the risotto from the oven and stir through the butter, parmesan, olive oil, sugar snap peas and half the rocket. Scatter the remaining rocket over the risotto and position the pancetta
on top (making sure you eat a few slices while no one is looking). Divide among shallow bowls and serve.
Did you know?
If you’re vegetarian, replace the pancetta with finely sliced tofu sprinkled with smoked paprika and salt. Cook for the same amount of time and scatter over the top before serving. You could also use ‘facon’ (fake bacon) instead, along with vegan cheese and butter to make the risotto
Some people say that you need to add dry white wine before the stock for it to be a real risotto, but my little peeps simply don’t like the taste, so I exclude it and add the Vegeta stock powder instead.