Baked Risotto with Pea & Pancetta
Malcolm Gladwell, in his best selling book ‘Outliers’, says it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a particular field. In that case then, my baked risotto must just about be my masterpiece!
It’s the easiest dish in the world to make and tastes absolutely delicious. It can easily be adapted to different tastes right at the end so it’s particularly good for any picky eaters in the family, and when my three boys were babies, it was a perfect “first food” recipe too.
You will need:
- 275g Arborio rice
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1.250 litre simmering chicken stock
- 125ml white wine or cooking marsala
- 40g butter
- 100g Parmesan
How to make light and delicious pea and pancetta risotto:
Preheat the oven to 180 C
To start, put your rice and chopped onion in a dutch oven/le creuset casserole pot.
Add the hot stock and wine to the pot and stir well (I substitute cooking Marsala which is de-alcoholised when I’m cooking this for the family).
Pop in the oven with the lid on for 35 minutes.
When you take it out, the rice should be cooked through and still look like individual grains not mushy like porridge. If the rice isn’t fully cooked pop it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
Now add the Parmesan and butter. Parmesan happens to be packed with protein (great for growing little ones), calcium, and also a very good source of vitamin A (good for vision, healthy skin and teeth).
Finally pour in one more cup of hot stock.
The next bit is really important! You need to stir like crazy for 2 full minutes. This will break up all the starch and give the risotto the same creamy unctuous consistency as one that has been carefully tended to with constant stirring at the hob after adding ladle after ladle of hot stock.
Spoon into individual bowls, eat the risotto just like this or add anything you like, this dish is also good for using up any leftovers.
We love our risottos with:
- Chorizo & prawns
- Homemade pesto
- Roasted vegetables
- And of course, pea & pancetta
Et voila, the meal that I’ve possibly made the most for my family over the years and they all still love it :-)
P.S It’s also very toddler friendly as the starchy rice sticks really well to the spoon.