I did make some changes to the recipe to increase the flavor and decrease some of the fat. The end result was great. It came out creamy and all the vegetables worked really well with the pancetta.
So next time you have 45 minutes to spend on dinner, give this recipe a shot!
Pancetta, Mushroom, and Spinach Risotto
adapted from Cooking Light (May 2010)
24 oz of cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 lb of pancetta, diced
1 shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice
6 cups of chicken broth
4 oz of fresh baby spinach
4 TBS of Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of pepper
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 TBS of olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a few grinds of black pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook until the mushrooms are brown and have released their liquid. In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth over medium heat. In a large saucepan, heat 1 TBS of olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta. Cook until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. In the large sauce pan, add 1 TBS of olive oil. Then add the shallot and garlic. After one minute, add the rice, and cook for another minute. Add 1/2 cup of the warm broth and stir well, constantly (take this liberally). Once the liquid is almost absorbed add another 1/2 cup of broth. Continue this process until only 2 cups of broth are left. Before continuing to add the broth add the mushrooms and their liquid. Once the liquid is almost absorbed, continuing add the broth 1/2 cup at a time. Once all the broth is added and the risotto is cooking fully (about 40 minutes), add the Parmesan cheese and spinach. Stir well. Once the spinach has wilted down, stir in the cooked pancetta and the black pepper. This dish is best served immediately. Enjoy!