Thursday, 1 November 2012

Pancetta and pea risotto

I saw this recipe on the newly slim Nigellas cookery programme Nigellisima. It looked like a simple and tasty midweek meal. It cooks much quicker than a normal risotto as orzo pasta is used instead of risotto rice. There is very little effort involved, as unlike a rice risotto there is no standing over the pan and continuous stirring required. It's texture was creamy and using smoked pancetta gave a much stronger flavour than normal bacon. I watched the clip from the programme which didn't give the exact amounts of ingredients, so this is a bit of guesswork. I'll add the new cookbook to my Christmas list. I do find pancetta a bit fatty so I picked out the bits that were mainly fat. 

Serve 4
1 tbsp garlic oil (I used olive oil)
260g cubed pancetta
a couple of handfuls of frozen peas
2 coffee cupfuls of orzo pasta
a handful of grated parmesan, plus some for serving
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a frying pan, fry the pancetta until golden. Add the frozen peas to the pan and cook until they have just lost their frozen look. Stir in the orzo and then add some just boiled water to the pan. I used 2 coffee cups of orzo and 4 cups of water. Give a quick stir then bring to the boil. Once boiled turn the pan down to a simmer and cover and cook until all the water has been absorbed. By this time the pasta should be cooked. Stir in the parmesan and season to taste. Serve immediately in warm bowls, sprinkled with more fresh parmesan. 

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