Risotto with Pancetta, Spinach and Goat Cheese
|Olive oil||1 Tablespoon|
|Chopped garlic||1 Tablespoon (3 large cloves)|
|Crushed red pepper||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Coarsely chopped spinach||1⁄2 Pound|
|Thinly sliced pancetta||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), thinly sliced|
|Chopped onion||1 Large|
|Halved grape tomatoes||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Cooked basic risotto||4 Cup (64 tbs)|
|Balsamic vinegar||2 Tablespoon|
|Crumbled goat cheese||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)|
|Grated parmesan cheese||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs), freshly grated|
|Chicken broth||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Chopped parsley||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Julienned fresh basil||2 Tablespoon|
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over MED heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute until the garlic begins to brown. Add the spinach and cover. Saute for 2 minutes, remove cover and season with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan over MED-HIGH heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crispy (only a couple of minutes so watch it carefully). Add the onion and saute until it gets translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Strain off excess oil. Add tomatoes, risotto, vinegar, parmesan, goat cheese and broth. Simmer until risotto thickens. Toss in spinach, parsley, basil and serve immediately.
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Serving Ideas : salad
NOTES : For added richness, add a pat of butter in at the last moment, before adding spinach and herbs.
You can cook the pancetta and onions ahead of time if you wish. It makes this dish go faster if you do.
To cook risotto, saute a bit of onion in oil. Add arborio rice and coat it well with the oil. Add chicken broth in 1/2 cupfuls and cook, stirring often, until it evaporates. Add more broth and cook it the same way and keep doing this until the rice is no longer chalky when you test it. It should be fully cooked and soft. Add a touch of butter, let it melt in, and saute for another few minutes. This should make basic risotto. Do not make this beforehand, like the spinach and onions. It must be cooked right as you are putting together dinner. It can not be prepped beforehand. Risotto is a last-minute dish.