Serves 4 to 6
You can leave out the pancetta for a vegetarian version of this risotto. It is lovely with fresh shelled spring peas, but add them with the first or second addition of liquid, because they require longer cooking time than frozen ones. If you’re making this in the summer, a handful of shredded zucchini flowers tossed in at the end would be delicious as well.
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces pancetta, diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio or other short-grain Italian rice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 small zucchini, chopped (about 1 pound)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 to 7 cups hot chicken broth, preferably homemade or low-sodium store-bought, or water
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta, and cook until it’s just crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, and cook until it’s wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice, and stir to coat it in the fat. Cook until the rice grains are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine, and cook until it’s absorbed. Stir in the zucchini, and season with salt and pepper.
Add stock or water to cover, cook until it’s absorbed, and give the rice a good mix. Continue to add stock and mix as the stock is absorbed until the rice is al dente, adding the peas for the last 5 minutes. The process should take about 18 minutes from the first addition of liquid, with the final product still a bit loose, but not runny.
Off heat, stir in the chives. Beat in the butter and grated cheese, and serve immediately.