July’s Broad Bean, Pea and Pancetta RisottoHard to choose with so many fresh vegetables available and all sorts of summer salads, the barbecue to light, picnics to enjoy. Here’s a dish for now (or anytime if you use frozen beans and peas). Serves 4 with a nice glass of light white wine.
- 175g (6oz) fresh or frozen broad beans
- 175g (6oz) fresh or frozen peas
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 70g (2 1/2oz) pack pancetta
- 250g (9oz) risotto rice
- 75ml (3 fl oz) dry white wine
- 3tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- 25g (1oz) butter
Bring a pan of water to a simmer, add the beans and peas, cooking until they are just done (al dente, allowing for whether they are fresh or frozen). Drain but reserve the water and use it with the stock cube in a pan to make 1.2 litres of stock that’s kept simmering gently.
Put the chopped shallots and the pancetta in a medium non-stick pan. Cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes until soft and golden (add just the slightest touch of olive oil if needed). Now add the rice and stir for about a minute, then add the wine. Gradually add the stock. Do this with a ladleful at a time and keep stirring until each amount is absorbed. OK, this will take time, about 15-20 minutes, but it’s worth it. Keep checking the rice and when it is almost tender add the cooked beans and peas. Cook for a further couple of minutes until heated through. Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the cheese and butter to taste. Serve in warmed bowls or plates.