Monday, December 27, 2010

Risotto Carbonara

You likely still have enough spiral ham, turkey, or roast beef to last you through a nuclear winter. But there will come a day when your stomach is rumbling and your fridge is depressingly empty. When that day comes, why not try out this warm and filling risotto? A carbonara is usually a pasta dish that combines parmesan cheese, egg, and some sort of fatty pork product (panchetta or bacon). I took the best elements of a classic carbonara and incorporated them into this risotto. This isn't exactly a light dish, but I figure you burn more calories to stay warm during the winter months. Enjoy!

Risotto Carbonara
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 6 oz. pancetta (or bacon)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¾ cup frozen peas (just eyeball it)
  • 1 oz. (or more) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Bring chicken stock to a simmer over medium low heat in a small saucepan.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in a large skillet over medium high heat until most of the fat has rendered. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and let drain on a plate lined with some paper towels.

Pour most of the rendered fat into a mug or bowl for later disposal, but reserve about 1 tablespoon in the pan.

Cook the onion in the rendered fat until translucent. Add garlic.

Add rice and cook for about 1 minute.

Stir in wine and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Ladle in approximately ½ cup of the chicken stock and stir until absorbed. Repeat this step until you've used up all of the chicken stock.

After you've added the final stock to the risotto (it can still look a little loose), return the pancetta to the pan. Add the frozen peas to the risotto and stir until cooked and bright green (this won't take very long at all). Stir in the cheese until it melts. Finally, add the lemon juice (watch the seeds!), salt and pepper.