Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Risotto ai Funghi e Pancetta

Risotto is a fairly new dish for me.  I don't know why I hadn't tried to make it before.  I think I've had it in a restaurant a few times but must not have been to impressed.  My girlfriend and I went to another couples house for dinner a while back and we had risotto (thanks Brooke) which was quite tasty.  Now, being that cooking is an enjoyable hobby of mine, this gave me something new to try and make.  There are lots of different ingredients you can add to risotto so I wanted to put my spin on it.
This is an easy dish to make so give it a go and be creative with yours.

Serves 3-4 (depending if you go for seconds or want leftovers)

Risotto ai Funghi e Pancetta
250 grams of arborio rice (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of pancetta diced
1 medium onion diced
3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped
8 button mushrooms quartered (Another option would be dried porcini mushrooms)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp of butter
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 liter of hot chicken or vegetable stock

In a large pot or sauce pan, heat the oil and add the garlic and onions.  Cook until soft, about 1 minute.  Add the pancetta and cook for another minute.  Then add the rice and stir for 1 minute making sure the rice gets a good coating.   Add wine and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Start adding a ladle of stock and continue to stir.

Once most of the liquid is absorbed add another ladle of stock.  Continue adding stock and stirring until the rice is al dente or has a slight crunch with a creamy consistency.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  Remove pot from heat and add 2 tbsp of butter and the Parmesan cheese, stir to combine, cover and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken a bit and let the flavors come together  Then the best part...enjoy your food!

Here is different version I came up with - Shrimp and zucchini - simple yet delicious.  Prepared the same except add the shrimp and zucchini about a half of the way through cooking the rice. 


  1. Hi there JR/Mike!

    My name is Steve Walters and I recently started blogging at http://www.eatingbangkok.com, which is currently being updated with recipes, but in the next few months will be my vehicle for covering the food and restaurant scene in Bangkok Thailand.

    I am now in the process of meeting as many food bloggers as I can and I found your site http://thegingerbeardcook.blogspot.com recently and was pretty impressed. I've added your site to my Foodie Blogs list here: http://www.eatingbangkok.com/foodie-blogs/ and would also like to add you to my blogroll.

    If you could add my site to your blogroll and write back to let me know it has been added (foodie [at] eatingbangkok.com) I will add you to mine as well and the exchange would be greatly appreciated!

    As you might imagine I am very excited to get moved to Bangkok and get started on covering the food scene there as I feel it is an area that isn't well covered by English speaking bloggers. I plan on adding loads of great reviews, pictures and even video and will be holding contests as well. It should be fun, entertaining and informative for everyone that visits.

    Thank you so much in advance for adding me to your blogroll and I look forward to reading your posts (I've subscribed!) and maybe even featuring some of your own posts as I do plan on a weekly roundup of Thai themed recipes and posts from other food bloggers.

    Warm regards,

    P.S. If you are on Twitter I would love to have you as a follower and I follow back:

  2. You infused lots of great flavors into your risotto! I bet it was insanely good! It's been a long time since I made it - was craving it this week. Thanks for trying the chimichangas and good to hear you liked them!

  3. This sounds wonderful. There's a lot of flavor in this risotto. I'm new to your blog and have spent some time browsing through your earlier entries. I really love the food and recipes you feature here. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary