Risotto with English Peas
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 medium shallot or 1/2 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 tbsps unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup Parmesean cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup English peas, cooked
- 1/8 cup Pancetta, rendered until crispy
- Pea tendrils for garnish
- Kosher salt, to taste
Heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil and 1 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped shallot or onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent.
Add the rice to the pot and stir it briskly with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil and melted butter. Sauté for another minute or so, until there is a slightly nutty aroma. But don't let the rice turn brown.
Add the wine and cook while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed.
Add a ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process.
Note: It's important to stir constantly, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed, to prevent scorching, and add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry.
Continue adding ladles of hot stock and stirring the rice while the liquid is absorbed. As it cooks, you'll see that the rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20-25 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn't done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it's absorbed.
Add the English peas and Pancetta. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp butter, the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with Kosher salt. Garnish with pea tendrils and Parmesan and serve.