Friday, September 26, 2008

Pancetta and Broad Bean Risotto

This delicious Italian risotto makes a healthy and filling meal, served with cooked fresh seasonal vegetables or a mixed green salad. Recipe serves 4.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 ounces (185 g) smoked pancetta, diced
1 3/4 cups risotto rice
2 1/2 pints (1.5 litres) simmering chicken stock
2 cups frozen baby baby broad beans
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mixed herbs such as parsley, thyme and oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Shavings of Parmesan cheese, to serve


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and pancetta and cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the onion and garlic to brown.
2. Add the rice to the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add a 1/2 cup of stock and cook, stirring all the time, until the liquid has been absorbed.
3. Continue adding the stock, a 1/2 cup at a time, until the rice is tender and almost all the liquid has been absorbed. This will take 30-35 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cook the broad beans in a saucepan of lightly salted, boiling water for about 3 minutes until tender. Drain well and stir into the risotto, with the mixed herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into a bowl and serve, sprinkled with shavings of fresh Parmesan cheese.

Tip: If the broad beans are large, or if you prefer skinned beans, remove the outer skin after cooking.

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