Asparagus & Pancetta Risotto
We have been fairly indifferent about what we eat these days, so I am just trying to incorporate more vegetables into our diet while clearing out the pantry and freezer. I had originally planned to use leeks but they looked tired at the grocery store. Since asparagus is in season–they looked good and were on sale–I used that instead.
When I got home, I heated the frozen stock I had made a few weeks ago from boiling down a few roast chicken carcasses and chopped up some shallots and garlic (forgot to buy onions). When I pulled out the arborio rice, we had considerably less than I had thought (should have checked before going grocery shopping) so we supplemented the arborio with some long-grain brown rice. White rice would have been a logical supplement, but we’ve transitioned to whole grains and I don’t keep white rice in the house anymore. I was a bit worried about the differences in cooking time since I think brown rice usually takes longer to cook, but everything turned out fine in the end!
If you’re looking for a basic risotto recipe, try this one. I don’t follow a recipe anymore since I have figured it out: keep adding warm stock to the risotto until it is fully cooked and absorbed. My basic steps:
- Fried up some diced pancetta and set it aside.
- Cooked the chopped asparagus in the rendered fat (not much to speak of but enough to cook the asparagus) and set aside.
- Sautee shallots and garlic in olive oil.
- Add arborio rice (and brown rice supplement) and sautee everything with a pat of butter
- Add sake
- Add ladles of warm broth, stirring often. As broth is absorbed, continue to add more until the rice is cooked through
- Mix in pancetta, asparagus and cheese
- Crack some pepper on top and you’re done!