Pancetta Risotto

Pancetta and pea risotto

Philippe Desnerck/Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
325 Calories
22g Fat
20g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 325
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 294mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 4mg 22%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 267mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This pancetta risotto recipe is made by rendering cubes of pancetta (cured pork belly meat, sort of like thick bacon) until it's brown and crispy, and then sautéeing the rice in the rendered pancetta fat. Sweet green peas counterbalance the salty flavors of the pancetta, making this another classic variation on the traditional Italian risotto.


  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice

  • 8 ounces pancetta, diced

  • 1 quart chicken stock

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1 medium shallot, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

  • Kosher salt, to taste​

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.​

  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil and the pancetta over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until the fat has rendered out and the pancetta is a nice golden brown.​

  3. Remove the pancetta and set it aside, but leave the fat in the pot. Add the chopped shallot. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent.​

  4. Add the rice to the pot and stir it briskly with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the fat. Sauté for another minute or so, until there is a slightly nutty aroma. But don't let the rice turn brown.​

  5. Add the wine and cook while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed.​

  6. 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.​

  7. 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.​

  8. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20 to 30 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.​

  9. Stir in three-fourths of the pancetta, along with the peas, the butter, the parmesan cheese, and the parsley, and season to taste with Kosher salt.​

  10. Portion into individual bowls and garnish each bowl with the remaining pancetta. Serve right away, as risotto turns glutinous if held for too long.

  11. Enjoy!

Recipe Variation

  • Replace the shallot with half of a small onion.