Pancetta and Cabbage Risotto Recipe

by katerina on November 28, 2006

The title doesn’t grab you does it? It didn’t really grab me either – at first. However, I am eager to try any Marcella recipe and I have soft spot for risotto so I gave it a shot.

This is actually the second time I have made it now. I really enjoy the smokey flavor of the pancetta (or bacon) contrasted with the Savoy Cabbage. Plus I always wondered what those funny looking cabbages would be good for. This is great, warming, stick to your bones food. If you haven’t heard, Vancouver has been having some very strange weather the last few weeks. Firstly a massive rain storm that has overloaded the resevoirs making the water undrinkable without boiling. To top it off we were hit with a snowstorm – which Vancouver does not get many of. Because of that I am challenged to use vegetables which involve minimal washing (I ain’t buying bottled water to wash lettuce!) and avoid things like pasta and rice. Hence the inspiration for this risotto.

This is another recipe from Marcella’s Italian Kitchen – and it certainly won’t be the last. Give yourself at least 20 minutes to get the cabbage caramelized.
Savoy Cabbage and Pancetta Risotto
(serves 2-4)

1 small onion, finely diced
1/2C pancetta or bacon, cut into thin strips
1T veg oil
3T butter
1 Savoy Cabbage, stalk removed, finely shredded.
Meat broth, simmering
1 1/2C arborio rice
1/2C parmesan, grated
salt and pepper

1. In a large dutch oven melt 2T of the butter with the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and the pancetta and cook until the onion is lightly browned, do not let burn.
2. Add the cabbage and turn the heat down to medium low. Turn a few times and cover. Cook until the cabbage becomes “colored a rich nut brown” stirring every few minutes to prevent burning.
3. Add the rice to the pot, turn the heat back up to medium and stir quickly, start adding ladlefuls of broth one at a time as they get absorbed. Stir continuously. Continue doing this until the rice is soft but still a little al dente.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining butter, parmesan and season to taste.[/print_this]

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