Pea and Pancetta RisottoAugust 10th, 2008
I was very encouraged by how you enjoyed my last video – thank you for all your lovely comments and emails – so I felt brave enough to do another one; in the kitchen this time! Unfortunately this hasn’t come out so well – I’m disappointed by the quality of the video (I think I need a new camcorder) and I didn’t zoom in for you to see what I was doing closely – but I hope you get the idea anyhow.
Pea and Pancetta Risotto
200g alborio rice
300g peas (weighed in their pods)
A knob of butter
A splash of vermouth
1 ltr vegetable stock
A generous grating of parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper
1. Heat the stock in a pan, ready to ladle into the risotto
2. Dice the pancetta and fry it in a dry pan over a medium heat until it’s cooked through. Remove it with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat that comes out it in the pan
3. Finely dice the shallot and add it to the pan, frying for a couple of minutes in the pancetta fat.
4. Add the rice and stir well, coating it in the fat, until it starts to turn translucent. Add a little butter if you need a little more fat.
5. Add the vermouth and stir for about 30 seconds while the alcohol sizzles and burns off.
6. Start adding the stock, one ladle-full at time, stirring continuously. Allow the rice to absorb each ladle-full before adding the next. Keep adding stock until the rice is ‘al-dente’, which means it isn’t totally soft all the way through but still has a bite in the middle, and the risotto has a sauce like consistency. Different rice absorbs different amounts of stock so you may need a little more or a little less. You can top up with water if you do need more.
7. Shell the peas and add them to the risotto along with the pancetta a few minutes before the end of the cooking time. Ensure the pancetta is heated through.
8. Take off the heat then season and stir in grated parmesan according to taste.