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Asparagus & Pancetta Risotto

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:

  1. Fried up some diced pancetta and set it aside.
  2. Cooked the chopped asparagus in the rendered fat (not much to speak of but enough to cook the asparagus) and set aside.
  3. Sautee shallots and garlic in olive oil.
  4. Add arborio rice (and brown rice supplement) and sautee everything with a pat of butter
  5. Add sake
  6. Add ladles of warm broth, stirring often. As broth is absorbed, continue to add more until the rice is cooked through
  7. Mix in pancetta, asparagus and cheese
  8. Crack some pepper on top and you’re done!

Asparagus & Pancetta Risotto

Asparagus & Pancetta RisottoCouldn’t even tell we used two kinds of rice!

YumIt’ll be nice to have a job again so we can drink good wine more regularly and be a part of more than one wine club!

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