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I use a ham stock cube , pancetta and plain boiling water . No need to add salt as the pancetta , cube and chees make it delicious . My nonnas recipe who was from Venice . Try using par boiled rice for quickness , cuts cooking time by quite a bit .
I made this today. Disappointed. Took way too much time for a bland dish that costs too much. As a side, plain rice would be just as good, if not better. As a risotto, it is a waste of ingredients. Won’t be making it again.
My family, from Sicily, makes this with rice and,sometimes, with dittalini pasta. We love to add fresh basil or mint, as well. It’s real “peasant food,” and so comforting!
I would like to try making this with either farro or pearled spelt. Fresh peas are the business. I like to eat them raw.
Will work just fine
Elise – do you think diced pancetta could be used as a substitute? Or would it be too ‘bacony’? Thank you!
If you crisp the pancetta first, then it’d be fine to substitute. ~Hank
the Cook’s Illustrated version uses diced pancetta, not crisped.
This looks delicious, and a perfect dish for visiting nieces and nephews. I do have a question, though. Is there any specific reason to use half stock and half water? While I know I can use all stock (which I’d be tempted to do for more flavor), if there is a purpose for using water instead I’d be more inclined to stick to the recipe as written.
It is to keep the rice from getting too salty. There is a lot of salt in the ham, and many stocks are very, very salty. This helps prevent the dish from becoming a salt lick ;-) ~Hank
This sounds so refreshing! It’s a good way to change up serving rice for dinner.
Mike, it has taken me forever to make risotto sometimes. Keep the temperature of the stove up to keep it cooking at the right pace.
One of the Alioto clan from San Francisco taught me how to make this dish. Fresh English peas are a must and once the peas are removed from the pods, add the pods to the stock for more of the fresh pea flavor for the entire dish. One of my favorite meals, ever.
This looks delish! My 90 year grandmother who is from Naples makes a similar version using a short pasta instead of rice. Actually, I recently bought a bag of arborio rice from a specialty Italian store. Definitely going to use it for this recipe!
35 minutes–really? Using arborio rice for risotto, I’ve never been able to get it to where it needs to be in less than an hour, and that’s adding hot liquid–no frozen peas!
Maybe you are using old rice? I make risotto every week and it has never, ever taken me more than 40 minutes. You also might like your rice cooked longer than al dente, which would add to the time. ~Hank