Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Red wine, mushroom and pancetta risotto

Having cooked this three times now, twice just for the two of us and once for a larger group at hour friends' in Holland, I have to say that it is currently my favourite risotto. It looks a wee bit strange, i. e. pink, but don't let that fool you. It is tasty as get out. And it only takes about 30 minutes to make, in total.
Unfortunately, British supermarkets don't have a good selection of mushrooms so I've only used ordinary mushrooms and oyster mushrooms so far. I'm dreaming of using a mix of wonderful wild mushrooms, chanterelles in particular, and perhaps a tiny wee amount of dried porcinis and the soaking juices of those... If you want to prepare a vegetarian version of this, I would definitely recommend using porcinis.
(serves 2)
200 g arborio rice
1/2 red onion, very finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 celery stick, very finely chopped
175 ml full-bodied red wine
1.2 l vegetable stock
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
50 g freshly grated parmesan
1/2 packet of pancetta
250 g mushrooms

1. First of all, heat a little olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and sauté the mushrooms and pancetta until crisp and golden. Set them aside.

2. Heat a couple of lugs of olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onion, garlic and celery over a medium heat for about 5 minutes without them browning.
3. Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes until it starts to look a little translucent.
4. Add the wine and stir until it's been absorbed by the rice. Then add a ladle of stock at the time and keep stirring. You want the rice to bubble but not boil so adjust the heat as necessary during this step. The rice will take about 15-20 minutes.

5. Once the rice is done it shouldn't be completely dry but still have some nice liquid left. Now season with the black pepper (I don't use salt because there is enough in the pancetta, stock and parmesan) and add the mushroom-and-pancetta mix.
6. Next, mix in the parmesan and a little olive oil. Put the lid on and leave for a couple of minutes. Then serve.

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