Risotto with Fennel, Pancetta and Parmesan
Bring 6 cups beef stock to a low simmer.
Prepare fennel for sautéing: remove stalks and fronds, cutting off at the top of the bulb. Remove outer leaves. Cut vertically (through the core) into quarters. Remove triangular core pieces. Slice into ½” pieces. You should have 1 ½ to 2 cups of fennel.
In a large, deep saute pan, over medium high heat saute the pancetta in 1 Tablespoon of
olive oil, until most of the fat is rendered and the little cubes are browned and well cooked, about 10 - 12 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In the same pan, saute garlic, onion, red pepper flakes and fennel for about 6 - 7 minutes until softened.
Add rice and reserved pancetta. Stir to coat and combine well, about one minute.
Add the wine, scraping up all the little brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir well and cookuntil most of the liquid is absorbed.
Begin to add simmering stock, one cup at a time. Stir frequently to keep the rice from sticking or burning.
Allow the rice to absorb the hot stock, about 2 -3 minutes.
Continue to add stock one cup at a time until you have added 4 cups. Then add liquid in smaller amounts, about ½ cup, until the rice has finished cooking (about 30 minutes).
At this point it should be creamy. It will “tighten” when served, so creamy is good.
Add the half the Parmesan cheese, about ¼ cup of stock and the heavy cream. Stir to combine.
Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let the risotto rest for 2 minutes.
Stir, mixing all the ingredients and serve immediately, with the remaining Parmesan sprinkled on top.
Chef’s Tip: For a richer taste add 4 tbsp. of softened butter to the finished risotto once it has finished cooking, let it rest for 3 minutes then fold it in. If you prefer a slightly wetter risotto, stir in an additional ¾ cup of stock after the rice has finished cooking.