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Pea & Pancetta Risotto

by Angela Hartnett from A Taste of Home: 200 Quick and Easy Recipes (Ebury)

Photography: Jonathan Lovekin

I first used this pancetta garnish to enliven a pasta dish and then found it worked equally well as a finishing touch on risotto.



2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

350g risotto rice

200ml white wine

about 850ml hot vegetable stock (Nigel says you can also use chicken stock)

400g frozen peas

200g cold butter, diced

100g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

salt and freshly ground pepper


For the garnish

2 tbsp oil

200g pancetta, chopped

1 onion, finely chopped



Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for a further 2 minutes.


Turn up the heat and add the wine– it should sizzle as it hits the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.


Once the liquid has reduced, begin adding the hot stock a ladleful at a time over a medium heat, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, and stirring continuously. The rice should always be moist but not swimming in liquid. The process of adding and stirring should take about 18 minutes. Add the peas towards the end of the cooking time so that they warm through.


Meanwhile, make the garnish. Heat the olive oil in a separate pan and sauté the pancetta. Remove the pancetta from the pan, add the onion and cook until light golden brown.


When the risotto is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the diced butter. Finish with the Parmesan, then season well and serve topped with the onion and pancetta mixture.

Drinks tasted on air alongside the dish.


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