Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

Posted by on Apr 28, 2021 in alcohol, bacon, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, cheese galore, gluten-free, main dish, pork, side dish | 0 comments

This Pancetta Risotto is a fantastic meal for two people, or a delicious side for a group. It’s time-consuming but very straightforward to make.

Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

I confess, I spent years being intimidated by the very idea of a risotto. I would see it done on cooking shows. So much stirring! When I finally got up the gumption to give it a try, I found risotto wasn’t hard at all. It really is about lots of stirring.

Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

This recipe here is my fancy occasion recipe, especially when I have some good pancetta on hand, such as the kind carried by Smoking Goose Meatery out of Indianapolis.

Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

As for the wine, I’ve tried this with fancier Sauvignon Blanc from Total Wine (Cloudy Bay from New Zealand) as well as a $6 Trader Joe’s Coastal Sauvignon Blanc. Both versions turned out great! You don’t need to go all-out, but get something that is (hopefully) drinkable with the finished meal.

Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

Homemade risotto requires time standing at the stove, but makes for delicious results. This recipe takes about 45 minutes to an hour to completion, depending on your stove. Note that a small amount of bacon can be substituted for the pancetta, but it is much stronger in flavor and colors the risotto brown.
Course: Main Course, pork
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: alcohol, cheese, pork, rice
Author: Beth Cato


  • large stock pot
  • medium saucepan


  • 8 oz pancetta diced
  • 1 Tablespoon dried shallots or fresh shallot, finely minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine Sauvignon Blanc works well
  • 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock, equal to a 32 oz box or 2 cans
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan or Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano, plus more to top rice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large stock pot, cook the pancetta for 10 to 12 minutes, until it starts to turn brown and crispy. At the same time, on another stove burner, use a medium sauce pan to bring the chicken broth to a very low simmer.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Add dry shallots and garlic to the fat in the big pot. Sauté for two minutes. Add the Arborio rice and a pinch of salt. Sauté another 2 minutes, until the rice looks glossy with translucent edges.
  • Add the white wine and stir until it is absorbed. Add chicken broth in 1/2 cup increments, stirring well after each addition until it is absorbed. After about 12 to 15 minutes, when most of the broth has been added, begin to taste the rice. The goal is a chewy, al dente consistency. Add more broth as needed, and remember to turn off the burner for the broth pot when it is empty.
  • When the rice is creamy and al dente, stir in the pancetta and cheese. Taste the risotto again, adding more salt and pepper as needed. Serve with the remaining white wine.


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