Let’s be honest… risotto is a bit of an attention whore.
Yes. I said it. And it’s the dang truth. Anything that needs your patience, love and gentle stir for over an hour immediately gets slapped with a NEEDY label.
That being said, risotto is absolutely f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s.
And dude, there’s wine involved! Any meal that encourages drinking on the job (and by job, I do mean risotto making… don’t get me in trouble here, folks!) has my respect and thumbs up.
This here version is all Spring-y and sprung with the first peas of the season, some gorgeous leeks, and PANCETTA!
Pancetta is in caps because you know, pork excites me like that.
Sometimes I scream out BACON for no reason at all… it’s shockingly a great way to meet new people. Or scare them away, which is an awesome back up plan if airport security confiscates your pepper spray and you’re left to use personality as your only form of protection (I’m looking at you LAX).
Now I want you to do something…
Close your eyes and just imagine yourself sitting down to a big bowl of this risotto and a glass of crisp white wine. Got the mental image going? Pretty great, huh?
Now make it a reality! AND go!
Spring Pea, Leek, and Pancetta Risotto – Baker by Nature
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, cut into a small dice
1/2 cup leeks, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups peas (I used fresh Spring peas, but I think frozen will do)
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small saucepan heat the chicken stock and water, letting it sit on a low heat to keep a constant simmer.
In a skillet, dutch oven, or heavy bottomed pot heat the olive oil on medium low. Add the pancetta and leeks and saute for about 10 minutes, or until the leeks have softened quite a bit but are not browned. Add the garlic and saute another 2 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat the grains with oil. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes before adding enough of the stock/water combination to cover the rice. Stirring constantly let the rice simmer until almost all of the stock is absorbed (about 8-10 minutes). Continue adding stock, one cup at a time, only adding more when the rice begins to appear dry. With the last addition of the stock add the peas, butter, and Parmesan. Mix well, add salt and pepper as needed, and serve immediately.