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Kale and Pancetta Risotto

Kale and Pancetta Risotto

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Add the rice and oil to a large pot and cook for about 2-3 minutes over medium-low heat, making sure all the grains are coated with the oil.

(There is a misconception about risotto I would like to clear up: It does not need to be stirred constantly. Frequently, and with a watchful eye, yes.) Now that that's out of the way, pour the chicken broth into a small pot over medium-low heat to warm (but don't bring it to a boil). Add about a third to a half cup of warmed chicken broth to the rice, stirring every so often to make sure the rice isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, add another portion of chicken broth, and stir. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked (when it's closer to al dente than soft.)

While the rice is cooking, prep the kale by cutting it in half lengthwise and then slicing it to a thin chiffonade. In a medium pan over medium heat, add the pancetta, kale, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 15 minutes (adding a little olive oil if necessary), or until the kale has softened and the pancetta is crispy.

Add the cheeses to the rice and mix until fully incorporated, then add in the pancetta and kale mixture. Season with salt and black pepper as desired (careful with the salt though, there's a decent amount there naturally from the pancetta and cheese). Serve in a bowl or plate and garnish with a light sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Creamy Pancetta Rice

Enjoy the bold flavors of this Italian inspired recipe made with our 100% Whole Grain Brown Rice.

Step 1
Prepare our Mahatma® Whole Grain Brown Rice according to package directions.

Step 2
Brown the finely trimmed pancetta and chopped onion in large skillet over medium heat. Cook until onion begins to brown, the process will take about 8 minutes.

Step 3
Add half & half dairy and bring to boil.

Step 4
Remove the skillet from heat. Add rice, cranberries, pistachios, salt and pepper. Stir until well blended. Serve right away, topping with more nuts and cranberries.

What Is Pancetta Exactly?

This meat is most commonly found in Italian cuisine and comes from pork. Yes, it is often compared to bacon but it is also quite different. Pancetta is technically part of the pork belly, so when properly cooked, it turns golden brown and crispy. You may also want to keep in mind that the secret to cooking with this meat lies in the cooking fats that are released when heat is added. They make for a flavorful base for sautéing.

Mixed with half & half and other ingredients, the brown rice develops a creamy risotto-like texture that is quite similar to our Creamy Mushroom Risotto recipe.

More Nuts, Please

Fried pancetta and nuts make a great combination and add a nice crunch to this enticing recipe. If you’re not so fond of pistachios, sub them out for another salty dried fruit like salted almonds, cashews or walnuts. If you’re nuts about nuts, add different varieties for an extra crunchy result.

Cranberries are another ingredient that elevate this recipe to a whole new level. You can easily swap them out with dried peaches, figs or raisins – just note that they add a sweeter contrast that works to balance out the flavors of the recipe nicely.

For more creamy rice, swap out our Mahatma® Whole Grain Brown Rice with Mahatma® Arborio Medium-Grain Rice which is specially made for cooking risottos.

Related Video

So good, the only way I will eat kale. Consistently good every time.

I have made greens for most of my life, growing up around cooks in the kitchen with various techniques. This recipe holds its own against that of my grandmothers. Wonderful and consistant. 4 Thumbs up!

I have made this recipe several times and every time it is a hit. I have even substitued bacon for pancetta and it was just as good. It is however quite time consuming to make and not exactly healthy but very tasty!

A little salty, but everyone loved it! My husband, who's never eaten kale before, thought it was great! About to make it again for the second time :)

I made this as a side for Thanksgiving last year and everyone wanted the recipe and asked that I make it again-- it was fantastic! The combination of greens and salty pancetta work as a perfect compliment to any meat dish.

best cooked kale i've eaten! I made this while cleaning out my fridge, so I had to use bacon instead of pancetta, shallots instead of onions, dried herbs and fresh parsley. I didn't braise it nearly as long as stated. Oh man this was delicious!

Delicious! Perfect for a snow day. I smashed and peeled whole garlic cloves rather than putting the head in. That gave me the option of keeping the garlic in, which in the end, I did. I didn't use any additional fat beyond what rendered from the bacon. So good!

I made this for the first time last night - delicious! I served it in a small mound on a bed of flattened brown rice with a poached egg on top for a very satisfying vegetarian supper. I added some slow roasted tomatoes as a garnish.

Though it was a lot of prep work, the dish was delicious. I made it as written except for using 4 T. butter instead of 6, and also chopped 4 garlic cloves and added them to the onions instead of slicing a whole head in half and removing at the end. Note, if it isn't apparent from the ingredient list, this dish is RICH! Though I served it with braised chicken thighs, I imagine it would be delicious over some hearty whole grain like barley, farro, or brown rice.

First of all, kale, especially the lacinato/dinosaur/tuscan variety, is delicious. It has more flavor and texture than smily ol' cooked spinach. This recipe is wonderful. Just to clarify some nutritional misinformation below, vitamin C is NOT fat soluble (the only fat-sol vitamins are A, D, E and K), and despite the reviewer's best efforts to be healthy, fat actually improves the absorption of the fat-solutble vitamins and phytochemicals found in kale (and most other vegetables). It also makes it taste so much better! Go for it, use some fat, your body and your taste buds will thank you. And, please, leave the nutrition advice to Registered Dietitians.

wow. This was an absolutely delicious dish. I made a few alterations but mostly kept it the same. I couldnt make it to the store that can actually slices pancetta for you, and had to deal with the thin, pre-packaged slices, which i fried and then crumbled before putting back in the saute pan. i didnt put in fresh thyme, but had some dried that i sprinkled in. I also omitted the bay leaf. for the garlic, i saw the other review and so i peeled the garlic before putting the cloves in (and then i left the garlic in after, because i love garlic!) probably one of the tastiest side dishes i've ever had - i served the dish with chicken, and it was great!

I added halved kalamata olives and a quick squeeze of sun-dried tomato paste near the end of the cooking time and it was sublime.

I wanted to write a review on this before I even got a chance to taste it, but realized that wouldn't be fair. Here's why: Fait, just like kale, is also not to be feared. Kale is PACKED with vitamins A, C and K, all of which are fat soluble. So, by all means, make this without the use of fats, and go ahead and try to benefit from the nutritional values of kale while you're at it.. However, after tasting the finished dish, I found the taste a little muddled. The only alteration I made was bacon for pancetta. I would recommend omitting the olive oil and reducing the amount of butter by half. It was very tasty, however. I would make this again and play around with the recipe. Let me know if anyone tries it that way and if you found this post helpful.

delicious! I never have parchment paper and thought it would be more efficient to do this without running the oven, so I put the blanched kale in my slow cooker, brought all of the other ingredients up to a simmer (following the recipe) then added it to the cooker and cooked on low heat for about 2 1/2 hrs. At that point it was delicious but I kept it cooking with the lid off for about another hr to evaporate some of the liquid. The only other change I made was reducing the amount of pancetta by about a third and cutting the butter in half. Took it to a birthday party and folks loved it.

This recipe was great, even though we didn't make it as written. Didn't add extra butter, oil, or pork fat. Let the kale braise in pre-cooked bacon and chicken stock on the stove top on low heat for about 45 minutes. Didn't put it in the oven, and it still tasted perfect with our beer brined pork chops and apple sauce.

I made this the first time without the panchetta or bacon. I just used a little olive oil to brown the onions in and added about 4-5 cloves chopped garlic at the end of browning. I then added a can of organic fire-roasted diced tomatoes and less chicken broth and braised it in the oven. With about 15 minutes of braising time left I added 2 Wahoo fish steaks to the Covolo Nero and continued braising. I then kept the fish warm and reduced it on the stove for about 20 minutes, at this point I then added a drained can of great northern white beans to the kale mixture along with salt and fresh pepper and served the fish on top of this. It was delicious. Tonite I'm making it as a healthy side dish (without the panchetta or extra oil).

We wanted to find a rustic Tuscan side dish to accompany our braised beef cheeks. This was exceptional! Forget everything you ever knew about kale, and how it tastes. While this was nearly a 3 hour (considering store bought stock) endeavor (lots of time in between phases to get other things done in the kitchen) it was well worth it. The taste was complex, even sweet. The biggest challenge for me was dealing with garlic bulb (which they don't have you peel), and the skins that I had to dig out of the kale. At the end, they have you discard the garlic and the bouquet garni, but I found myself sifting through looking for skins during the cooking process. It was a huge hit, however! Would definitely make again.

Low (lower) calorie recipe: I used 3 strips of Niman Ranch bacon instead of the pancetta and no extra oil. Very tasty this way too!

I made a soup based on this recipe. Terrific. Do not fear kale! It's delicious and healthy.

Unbelievably delicious. I have only tried this recipe using regular kale. It also works well using smoked ham instead of the pancetta.

Hey, this is good! Yes, cavolo nero is also good prepared in a simpler manner, as the first rater suggests, but, I was looking for a something new. As the paragraph at the top suggests, this would be good with game or risotto, something rich.

I made this dish for a party I catered. It was a GREAT success! Will be making over and over again.

To the one and only review so far. Did you actually make this or are you just making a comment?

We grow cavelo nero and will be enjoying the new season's crop soon as we have our first frost. I would not drteam of ruining such a lovely, complex vegetable with a collosal eight tablespoons of fat.

Pressure Cooked Risotto with Pancetta and Kale

Risotto is a popular dish in our house. It’s creamy, it’s warming, it involves a bottle of wine to drink while you slowly stir the rice. And since it takes on flavors so well, it has endless possibilities for how it’s prepared. Since traditional way is labor intensive, I found a way to Pressure Cook Risotto and get the same results in much less time

The Traditional Way to Cook Risotto

Risotto is really as much a method as it is a finished product. Cooking risotto in the traditional way will involve at least 20 minutes of slow and steady stirring. Unless you either work in a laboratory and have access to a magnetic stirrer or have an eager 9 year old, you’ll probably be standing in front of your stove for a while.

As far as the technique goes, nearly every traditional risotto recipe will start the same way. Cook the onions (and garlic) in butter (or oil) until they’re just translucent and then add the arborio rice so that it becomes lightly toasted. You’ll notice the nutty smell coming off the pan. And then slowly stir in flavorful stock until the liquid is fully absorbed

For some extra flavor, I like to start with pancetta instead of butter. Cooking a few pieces of pancetta will leave a nice amount of pork fat in your saucepan. Depending on how much is left, I’ll supplement with Olive Oil so that there’s about 2 tablespoons worth left behind, and then add the onions. You’ll save the pancetta and reintroduce it at the end.

After the grains have toasted a bit, and before adding the stock, I like to add in a bit of white wine. Not a lot, maybe half a glass or so. And it can’t be that half empty bottle that you’ve had in the back of the fridge since for the past who knows how many weeks. The general rule for cooking wine is: If you wouldn’t serve a glass of the wine to a guest, then by no means should you cook with it. And as a bonus, you now have a nearly full bottle of white wine to keep you entertained while you stir.

In the pot, the wine will reduce, intensify in flavor and be absorbed into the rice. All good things.

Next you’ll start the process of adding small amounts of warm stock to the rice and stirring until it’s fully absorbed. This action ensures the stock is absorbed uniformly and will also help the rice release as much of its starchy goodness as possible. This is what gives risotto the wonderful, creamy texture. Near the end is usually when I add in all of the extras.

End to end, it’s probably about a 45 minute exercise.

The Modernist Cuisine Risotto Technique

Most of the recipes in the Modernist Cuisine at Home (MCAH) book either introduce time saving techniques or take you in an extreme direction to produce the absolute best possible dish. Their risotto recipe was a bit of a letdown as it didn’t really save any time (actually took longer), was more cumbersome and wasn’t really the best risotto I’ve ever had.

The MCAH recipe is a variation on a popular restaurant technique for cooking risotto at scale. If you think about it, a line cook can’t exactly be spending 30 minutes stirring a pot and still expect to get other orders out. The premise is that you par-cook the grains, refrigerate them on a sheetpan and then finish cooking them later. The refrigeration on a frozen sheetpan is supposed to help with the starch release so that the finishing time is shortened.

So you start cooking in one pan, drain the rice through a cheesecloth to get out the excess liquid, spread is all out on a sheetpan for refrigeration and then put it all back into the pan to finish.

And were I making risotto for 50 guests, ordering it at 25 different times, it’d probably work beautifully. Doing it for 2, not so much.

Using a Pressure Cooker or an Instant Pot to make Risotto

So here is where I landed by creating not only a great risotto….but I also saved some time and effort in the process. And it wasn’t nearly as laborious as the other ways.

If you pressure cook risotto, you basically cut the time by a third and eliminate the need to constantly stir the rice. If you’re thinking about buying a pressure cooker, check out my handy pressure cooker buying guide. You can also make Instant Pot Risotto a s well using the Pressure setting.

The rest of the recipe is pretty much identical. I started out with the pancetta in a little bit of olive oil over medium high until it was cooked on both sides. If you have a stainless steel pressure cooker, and aren’t used to cooking in stainless steel, you might be fretting over having quite a mess in the bottom of the pot.

Don’t worry, this will all quickly clean up once the onions go in. The onions, and later the white wine, will deglaze the pan beautifully and pull up all of the delicious fond that’s accumulated.

When you add the stock, instead of going in 1/2 a cup at a time, you’ll add it all and start to pressure cook the risotto.

After a quick release, add in your other ingredients and you’re all set.

Kale and Pancetta Risotto - Recipes

You’ve been lied to! Risotto is not fussy or hard to make. In fact, it’s a simple comfort meal that easily adapts to whatever you have on hand, making it a dish that should be in regular rotation every Monday through Friday.

Or whatever day it is. (Ed note: this was originally posted during the COVID-19 quarantine.)

Okay, maybe you haven’t been exactly lied to, but risotto has a reputation for being labor intensive. And if you’re serving it at a high-end restaurant for more than $20, it should be. But we’re not. We’re home cooks who can easily implement an imperfect version of the technique and still end up with a creamy, delicious bowl of comfort.

I tend towards making veggie risottos because enveloping nearly any vegetable in a bowl of creamy, buttery rice never fails to entice my kids. But you can follow this recipe to make plain risotto too. The only adjustment is to skip the kale and adjust the final cooking time down by a couple of minutes — and by that point in the cooking process, you can just eye/taste your way through the home stretch.

But if you have kale, use it. Or spinach or Swiss chard. Unless you have an eater who refuses green foods, they’ll hardly know that this is packed with leafy green goodness.

Creamy Kale Risotto


2 bunches kale, washed & trimmed
12 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
1 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cups broth
2 small shallots, chopped (about 1/2 packed cup chopped shallot)
2 1/2 cups Aborio rice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, as desired
2 tablespoons butter
Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1 1/2 to 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear the leaves of about half of one bunch of kale into 2-inch pieces. Place in a medium bowl along with a drizzle of olive oil and heavy sprinkle of salt. Toss to coat leaves well and transfer to a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.

Fill the high-sided pan in which you plan to make your risotto with water that comes up the side about 2-inches. Heat to a simmer and carefully dunk all the remaining trimmed kale leaves (they can still be in large pieces). Blanch them until softened and bright green, about 1 minute.

Transfer blanched kale leaves to a food processor (you can toss the cooking water and set the pan aside for the moment). Add the garlic, lemon juice, and a 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and puree as much as you can. Open the lid, scrape down the sides, put the lid back on, and add 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a slow, steady stream with the motor running again. Set puree aside.

Add the broth, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 cups of water to a saucepan. Set on medium heat and bring to just barely a simmer. You may need to adjust the heat throughout cooking to maintain this very gentle simmer.

Set your risotto pan over medium-low heat. Heat 6 tablespoons of the olive oil and add the shallots as soon as it begins to sizzle. Gently saute until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium and add the rice and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat the grains well and cook, continuing to stir periodically to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan, about 4 minutes.

Using a heat-proof measuring cup, scoop out 3/4 cup of broth and add to the rice. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring periodically. If you need a moment to breath and do something simple, stir all the while. If you’re busy, stirring the mixture just 2 or 3 times will suffice just fine.

Once all of the broth has cooked off, add another 3/4 cup (this is your second addition) and repeat.

When you add your 6th — and final — addition of broth, also add the kale puree. Cook down until the risotto is creamy (but still a little runny the cheese will thicken it further) and rice is toothsome, but tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove the risotto from heat. Stir in butter, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and lemon zest. Once all the butter has melted and is well incorporated, stir in the Parmesan to taste. Adjust salt as desired. Serve topped with kale chips.

Sautéed Kale With Beans & Pancetta

We enjoy greens of every description, and are lucky enough to have wide variety of fresh, organic greens available at our local Farmer’s Market every Saturday. It is always difficult trying to decide which greens I will buy each week and I constantly find that I buy too many, filling up my refrigerator with bags full of fresh greens. I use my greens in soups and stews, as well as sautéed, sometimes alone, while other times I mix the greens with other vegetables. One of our favorite is kale, and our local market carries a number of different varieties of kale. I generally always pick up a bunch of Lacinato, or Tuscan Kale, as I love it’s tender texture and almost sweet flavor. Compared to other varieties of kale, it is more delicate in flavor and works well in everything from raw in salads or cooked in soups.

I often sauté our green just with sliced garlic and red chili peppers, sometimes I add tomatoes, sometimes white beans, and sometimes both beans and tomatoes. This week I pulled a can of garbanzo beans from the pantry, and added them to the kale after I sautéed it with diced onions, pancetta, and chili peppers. This side dish is great with any roasted or grilled meats, but I particularly love serving it with roasted sausages and potatoes.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2012

Butternut Squash Risotto

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add squash and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook for several minutes, turning gently with a spatula, until squash is deep golden brown and tender (but not falling apart.) Remove to a plate and set aside.

Heat broth in a saucepan over low heat. Keep warm.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add Arborio rice and stir, cooking for 1 minute.

Reduce heat to low. In 1-cup increments, begin adding broth to the skillet, stirring to combine and gently stirring as the broth is absorbed. As soon as the liquid disappears, add in another cup to cup-and-a-half of broth. Continue this process, stirring gently as the broth incorporates and the rice starts to become tender. Add salt, pepper along the way.

Taste the rice after about 5 cups of broth have been absorbed and see what the consistency is. Add another 1 to 2 cups of broth as needed to get the rice to the right consistency: it should be tender with just a little bit of "bite" left to it.

When the rice is tender, add in the cooked squash and turmeric and stir it in gently. Add the cream and Parmesan shavings and stir until it's just combined. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Sprinkle minced parsley over the top and serve immediately!

A couple of weeks ago, I cooked Butternut Squash & Kale Quesadillas. The same day, because I had hacked into a whole butternut squash and wanted to use it all up, I also whipped up a batch of risotto using the other half of the squash. When both butternut squash dishes were done, I honestly couldn&rsquot decide which one I liked more, so I sorta ate both for dinner.

It was my birthday! And calories don&rsquot count on one&rsquos birthday!

I wound up making a huge amount of risotto, and had leftovers in the fridge for a few days. During those few days, I can&rsquot count the number of times I reached a spoon into the fridge, retrieved a bite of risotto, and gobbled it up cold. And I won&rsquot even mention the helpings I microwaved. It was so irresistibly good, I just couldn&rsquot get enough.

Risotto on its own is delicious enough: tender, delicious rice slow-cooked until the texture is creamy and perfect. But add in cooked butternut squash, in all its natural creaminess and perfection? I dare say the two things are, like, totally M.F.E.O.

(If you don&rsquot know what M.F.E.O. means, you need to watch Sleepless in Seattle at the earliest possible convenience.)

Start by cutting up a butternut squash.

Note: I&rsquom using the same series of butternut squash-dicing photos I used for the Butternut Squash & Kale Quesadillas since I did those two recipes on the same day. In the event someone happens upon this post without seeing the other one, I wanted the directions to be here, too.

First, lop off the top of the squash&hellip

Use a potato or vegetable peeler to peel off the skin, which comes off really easily.

Until you see no more sign of it. Just pure, unadulterated butternut squash.

You can throw this away if you want, or throw it in the compost heap.

Now, cut the squash in half where the skinner part meets the larger part.

Slice both pieces down the middle&hellip

Then use a spoon to scoop the seeds and pulp out of the larger pieces. (The other end of the squash doesn&rsquot have any seeds/pulp, so you won&rsquot have to worry about that.)

Slice the chunks of squash into large slices&hellip

And cut the stacks into sticks.

Then rotate the sticks and cut them into a nice, neat dice!

No matter what your chunks look like, just cut them into sticks and cut the sticks into a dice&hellip

Until the whole dang squash is diced.

Now, to cook the squash, throw some butter and olive oil into a big ol&rsquo skillet&hellip

And throw in the squash. I actually wound up doing two skillets because I wanted the squash to get some nice color and not be crowded.

Sprinkle a good amount of salt in the skillet.

Then add a good amount of pepper.

And then some chili powder, just to give it a little kickarooni.

I just decided I&rsquom going to use the word &ldquokickarooni&rdquo at least fourteen times this week.

Cook the squash over high heat, using a spatula to turn it over gently from time to time, until it&rsquos nice and deep golden brown.

Remove it to a plate and set it aside for a bit.

That was actually the plate I wound up using for the Butternut Squash and Kale Quesadillas, as the squash held together more. This was the plate I designated for the risotto, because the mushiness would only make things more divine.

In the same skillet I used to cook the squash, I added a little extra butter&hellip

Then I threw in some chopped onion, stirred it around, and cooked it a bit.

Risotto is made with Arborio rice. I always have some in my pantry, because to me there&rsquos nothing more tragic than having a hankering for risotto and finding you don&rsquot have any Arborio rice.

I measured about a cup-and-a-half and poured it right into the skillet with the onions.

This&rsquoll make a nice big quantity of risotto. That Arborio swells, man.

Stir it around and cook it over medium-low heat for about a minute&hellip

Then grab the broth. I usually use chicken broth for risotto, but the grocery store in town has been carrying this vegetable broth&hellipand it&rsquos perfect for non-meaty things.

Oh, and another thing: It&rsquos best to heat the broth before you begin to add it to the risotto. But I&rsquom lazy and sometimes I don&rsquot like to go to the trouble of emptying the broth into a saucepan and waiting for it to heat up.

So I just take my chances.

Yep, that&rsquos me. A risk taker in the kitchen. Yep. Uh huh.

So for those of you who&rsquove never made risotto: The gist of it is, you add a total of about five to six cups of broth to the rice, about a cup or so at a time, over the period of 35 to 45 minutes&hellipsometimes a little longer. The rice gradually absorbs the liquid, then you add more. This was the first addition of broth.

Stir it around and let it cook gently&hellip

Then, within several minutes, you&rsquoll notice that the liquid is starting to disappear.

When most of the liquid has been absorbed&hellip

Stir it around gently while it cooks&hellip

Adding more broth when the liquid is all absorbed.

Along the way, add a little salt and pepper&hellip

And keep at it until the rice is tender but still has a teeny bit of a bite to it. I always taste the risotto and check the texture. If it&rsquos too firm, I just add another cup or so of broth and reevaluate!

This is pretty perfect right here&hellip

So I added the whole plate of cooked squash. Mmmmmm!

As I stirred it in, it seemed just a little bit too sticky. So I splashed in just a little more broth to get it to a nice consistency. It was still really hot, so it continued to absorb some of the liquid.

Then, because I love it and because it adds a really lovely golden color to food, I added just a small sprinkle of turmeric.

Oh, and one other thing. Because I love it and because&hellipwell, I love it, I added a tiny splash of heavy cream. I&rsquom talking maybe 3 tablespoons.

I also added another small sprinkle of chili powder, just to give the risotto a little edge.


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and translucent, 5–8 minutes. Stir in rice season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until some grains are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Step 3

Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups very hot water season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and bake in oven until liquid is mostly absorbed but rice is still starchy in the center, 15–18 minutes (it should be undercooked).

Step 4

Meanwhile, pulse garlic and half of toasted walnuts in a food processor until very finely ground. Add parsley, chives, half of kale, remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, and ¼ cup cold water process until smooth season pesto with salt and pepper.

Step 5

Set saucepan over medium heat. Add ¾ cup very hot water and cook rice, stirring constantly, until it is tender but still has some bite and sauce is creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in pesto, butter, three-quarters of Parmesan, and remaining kale. Adjust consistency with water, if needed season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with remaining walnuts and cheese.

How would you rate Oven Risotto with Kale Pesto?

Love this recipe! We made it our own by adding some sausage! (Which might take away from the healthy part but it’s divine!)

This recipe was just a little too strong in the raw garlic/onion/parsley flavors for me. Tastes very green.

This has been a staple recipe of mine for years! Not sure why folks didn't like it.

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

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Pasta Risotto With Peas & Pancetta

Here, I cook pasta much as I would if I were making a traditional risotto. But there is a difference - that you don't have to stir constantly and that the pasta takes only 10 minutes to cook are obvious benefits to the harried midweek cook.

I love the rice-shaped pasta that is orzo - it ozzes its starchiness out into the sauce and - what's more - you need only the one pan. I advise that the pan be heavy-based: a small enamelled cast-iron casserole would be perfect although often as not I use a thick-bottomed saucepan.

Please note that the amount of water specified is a starting point only: you may need to add more if the pasta's absorbed all the water before it's cooked.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Here, I cook pasta much as I would if I were making a traditional risotto. But there is a difference - that you don't have to stir constantly and that the pasta takes only 10 minutes to cook are obvious benefits to the harried midweek cook.

I love the rice-shaped pasta that is orzo - it ozzes its starchiness out into the sauce and - what's more - you need only the one pan. I advise that the pan be heavy-based: a small enamelled cast-iron casserole would be perfect although often as not I use a thick-bottomed saucepan.

Please note that the amount of water specified is a starting point only: you may need to add more if the pasta's absorbed all the water before it's cooked.

Kale and Pancetta Risotto - Recipes

Farro (which I recently learned is pronounced FAR-ō, not FAIR-ō), is a wonderful way to substitute a nutty grain for rice in risotto. I used it in last year's Multi-Grain Risotto and wanted to give it another shot with different flavors. It's typically semi-pearled, meaning part of the bran has been removed. This helps it cook faster than say, wheat berries, which are not pearled. However, that also means that technically farro isn't a whole grain unless you find an unpearled variety somewhere.

I've paired it here with pancetta, which is an Italian meat like bacon but not smoky, and kale, the hearty green that's getting so much attention at the moment. You could certainly mix this up: use bacon or ham or omit the meat to make it vegetarian. Other greens like escarole, spinach or mustard greens would be good in this dish too.

Farro Risotto with Pancetta and Kale

1 1/2 cups farro
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
4 oz. diced pancetta
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup dry white wine (I used pinot grigio)
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped into 2 inch pieces
1/2 grated cup parmigiano-reggiano

1. Rinse farro then soak in about 4 cups of water.

2. Combine chicken broth with 2 cups of water and warm over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan.

3. Heat a Dutch oven or large sauté pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until crisped and brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Remove excess rendered fat to leave about 1 tbsp. in the pot.

4. Add butter to pot with rendered pancetta fat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Drain farro and add to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally to toast, about 5 minutes.

5. Add pancetta back to the pot, then add the white wine. Stir frequently as the wine cooks down until the point when a spoon swiped across the bottom of the pot leaves bare pot that isn't immediately covered with liquid. Then, start adding the warm broth by the ladle, stirring to incorporate and cooking until each added ladle of liquid is incorporated so that the bottom of the pot can be seen when a spoon is swiped across it. Continue cooking and adding liquid until the farro is cooked enough to still be a little chewy (you may not use all of the liquid), about 30 to 35 minutes total cooking time. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese and serve.

Watch the video: Pea u0026 Bacon Risotto Masterclass. MasterChef New Zealand. MasterChef World