Monday, August 2, 2010


Pancetta (P), Leeks (L), Bursting Tomatoes (BT) and Gorganzola (G), what more can you ask for in dish! I love risotto as much as love cooking it, and who doesn’t love the idea of taking an old BLT concept to an Italian rice dish!

I am going to be short and sweet on this post…I think I said all I can say about Risotto in one of my previous posts: Risotto Done in my Italian way

So, if you read my previous post on cooking risotto, you should be comfortable making different versions of this incredible dish.

Risotto with Pancetta, Leeks, Bursting Tomatoes and Gorganzola
Serves 4-6 as a main meal-can serve up to 6-8 as an appetizer
  • 2 c Arborio Rice
  • 2 Medium Leeks-Cut into ½ in slices and fully washed
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic Minced
  • A few Tbls of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Slice ½ inch Thick Pancetta (If you use Bacon, use about 2 extra thick slices) About 1/3 cup.
  • 12 Oz Cherry Tomatoes
  • ¼ cup Gorgonzola-Crumbled or if you like Soft.
  • 6-8 Cups Broth (you can use Vegetable or Chicken-I have used Homemade Chicken Broth for this Version)
  • 1-1/2 c Dry White Wine (Pino Grigio or Chardonnay-Buy what you would drink)
  • S/P to taste **Note if using Bacon be careful on the salt**
  • Basil-Chiffonade for Garnish 
Make sure you have all your ingredients prepped ahead of time. It will make the process easier.

Step 1: Cut your Leeks and Garlic and set aside
Step 2: Cut your Pancetta into small cubes
Step 3: Heat up your Broth in a separate pan and keep it on a very low setting to keep it hot.
Step 4: Prep your Tomatoes: In a fry pan, add some EVOO and Tomatoes over medium heat, cover and let tomatoes cook until a bursting stage…about 8-10 minutes. Set aside covered to maintain heat. –You do not want to add to rice as you are cooking it, as the tomatoes are at this point very delicate.

***This is now where you should not leave the pan at anytime***

Step 6: Pre-Heat a Large Fry pan or Dutch Oven over medium heat. (for Risotto newbies…I mean a Large. The rice will double in size as its being cooked)
Step 7: Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Pancetta. When Pancetta has slightly browned add Leeks and Garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until Leeks have melted properly.
Step 8: Add Arborio Rice and sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Cook, stirring until rice becomes opaque in color.
Step 9: Add White Wine and continue to stir rice until all liquid has dissipated/soaked into the rice
Step 10: Add 1 ladle or 1 cup of Broth for each interval, continually stirring the rice and liquid…Meaning add 1 ladle or 1 cup of Broth and stir until all liquid has dissipated/soaked into the rice, then add another ladle or 1 cup of Broth…Continue this process until you get to about the 5th ladle/cup. Your rice at this point should start to have a starchy milky look to it. This is good, as Arborio rice should have that starchy milky liquid.


Now for the first taste test…The Rice should be Aldente-“To the Tooth”…Which means that the rice should have a little bit of a bite, but not too much. You want the slightest resistance of the rice. If your rice is still crunchy that you can taste the crunch more than the rice itself, you will need to add more liquid. At the 5th Ladle/Cup, you should start to taste. Make sure you keep on tasting prior to each broth addition from this point on!

Step 11: Continue to add the remainder of your broth (you may not need to use all of it) until rice is done and turn heat off.
Step 12: Add Gorgonzola cheese…Stir until everything is incorporated or until cheese has melted.
Step 13: Serve Risotto, and add a few Tomatoes on top of rice and Basil as the garnish.

Cin Cin!

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