Sundried tomato and pancetta risotto


I know I haven’t posted in a little while, so apologies! I dashed off to Copenhagen last week for a few days to see their stunning Christmas markets and sample some delicious Nordic cuisine – something I’ve never done before! It was really wonderful and such a special treat.

Back on English soil and into my routine, I was in the mood for something warming and familiar. This is probably my favourite risotto flavour combination. I use sundried tomatoes, which I can happily eat one by one if left alone with a jar. We’re only supposed to have 2 pieces at a time due to these being quite high in fructose – but if you tolerate fructose like me, you can throw in a few more!

you will need

1/3 cup aborio risotto rice
2 (or 4 if you tolerate glucose) sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
small bunch of basil leaves
a good handful of smoked pancetta or lardons
1/2 packet of passata  or chopped tomatoes
squeeze of tomato puree
1 litre chicken stock (or vegetable)
knob of butter
25g parmesan
garlic oil
splash of white wine


Begin by frying your pancetta / lardons in some garlic oil and butter. You want this to become really lovely and crispy, don’t worry about it sticking to the pan a little. Once you’ve achieved desired crispiness, add a splash of wine to deglaze the pan and add a little more butter if you need to, before adding your aborio rice and stirring it all through. You want the rice to be nicely coated in butter before adding more liquid.

After about half a minute or so, add your stock, bit by bit. As the rice drinks it up, add more stock, constantly stirring. Add the passata in too, giving it a good stir. As your rice achieves the texture you’re happy with (normally takes me a good 25 minutes) you can add in the chopped sundried tomatoes, tear in some basil, and once all mixed in, two thirds of your parmesan. Season with pepper and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.

Return to your risotto and tweak the flavours as you see fit. Serve with another sprinkling of parmesan.

Sundried tomato and pancetta risotto


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