Friday night dinner: Risotto with pancetta and peas

Thanks to my three jobs + freelancing and Adrian’s coursework + rehearsals (not to mention the gym for both of us), we only get to cook dinner on the weekends. This Friday, I decided to use the Arborio rice in the cabinet and make a risotto a la carbonara.

Risotto a la carbonara
Risotto a la carbonara


  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 oz. pancetta, cubed/diced
  • 1½ cups Arborio rice
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • sweet peas (frozen or fresh) – about the same volume as the pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼-½ cup shredded Parmiggiano Reggiano
  • freshly ground pepper


  • Heat the chicken stock to a simmer and keep it simmering
  • Heat some olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat
  • Add the onions and cook until almost translucent
  • Add the pancetta and brown it – don’t make it completely crispy
  • Turn the heat down a bit (about medium)
  • Add the rice and toast it, stirring constantly, for about a minute
  • Add about a cup of the simmering chicken stock and continue stirring until most of the liquid is gone
  • Continue the process, adding chicken stock about ½ cup at a time and stirring constantly
  • When there is a cup or so of chicken stock left to add, add the peas so that they have time to warm through
  • After all the chicken stock has been used (should be about 20 minutes of cooking time), turn off the heat and add the butter and pepper to taste. Stir until the butter has completely melted.
  • Add the shredded Parmiggiano and stir until well combined. Be careful not to break the peas!
  • Serve hot with more shredded Parm on top

I like risotto with a nice bright riesling, but we decided to have a beer instead:

Victory Prima Pils
Victory Prima Pils

Delicious! Oh, and the recipe makes enough to serve four as a main course.

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