Makes 6 entrée servings
7 cups beef or chicken broth
3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs pancetta (or thick cut bacon) diced
2 Tbs onion, chopped very fine
2 cups Arborio or other imported Italian risotto rice
1/3 tsp powdered saffron or ½ tsp chopped saffron strands dissolved in 1-cup of the hot broth or water.
Black Pepper, freshly ground.
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus additional cheese at the table.
Salt, to taste
- Bring the broth to a simmer on a burner near where you’ll be cooking the risotto.
- Put the diced pancetta, 1Tbs of butter, olive oil, and the chopped onion in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat. Cook and stir the until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the rice to the pot. Stir to coat the grains well with the butter and oil.
- Add 2 ladles of simmering broth. The broth should just cover the rice and should be bubbling. Stir constantly, whipping the sides and bottom of the pot clean as you stir, until all the liquid is gone. When there is no more liquid in the pot, add another 1-2 ladles of broth, continuing always to stir as above.
- When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, add half of the dissolved saffron. Continue to stir, and when there is no more liquid in the pot, add the remaining saffron.
- Finish cooking the rice while stirring, until it is tender, but firm to the bite, and there is no more liquid in the pot.
- Off the heat, add a few grindings of pepper, the remaining butter, all the grated Parmesan, and stir thoroughly until the cheese melts and clings to the rice. Taste and correct for salt. Serve immediately with additional grated cheese on the side.
Gently fold in a variety of roasted, diced vegetables-butternut squash, zucchini, mushrooms (sliced).
Seafood: roasted shrimp, sauteed scallops.