Risotto with Peas and Pancetta

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Risotto with Peas and Pancetta

I have loves peas since as long as I can remember. My nana and I would always enjoy peas with almost every meal. Our favorite would be to pour our tomato sauce.

What makes my Risotto with Peas and Pancetta special is I cook the pancetta in the same pan as the risotto!  We took this picture at NBC Connecticut and added the pancetta at the end of the segment then shared with the staff.  What a great day..


  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 slices pancetta, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 lemon juiced


  1. In a medium sauce pot add chicken broth and keep warm.

  2. In a large french oven pot heat over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil then pancetta.

  3. Cook until crisp then move from pan using a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel lined plate.

  4. Add garlic in the fat/oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 1 minute. Add rice, stirring  with a wooden spoon to coat.

  5. Add 1/4 cup warn broth mixture and simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring often (do not leave the stove).   Absorb the broth before adding more.  Continue cooking the rice just until tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, 18 to 22 minutes. (keep the reserved leftover broth mixture.)

  6. Add peas and cook, stirring occasionally.

  7. Stir in cheese, butter, zest, and juice. Thin risotto with some of reserved broth mixture if desired and season with salt and pepper.

  8. Top with pancetta before serving.

  9. Tip: You can prepare risotto up to 3 days in advance.  Just cook using 1/2 of the liquid and only for about 15 minutes on a low heat.  Removed from heat and let it cook, cover and refrigerate until ready to finish cooking and serve!

    When ready to heat and serve:  Remove from refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Warm the chicken broth and continue cooking on a medium heat adding broth until rice is tender but still firm.  (I like to add about 1 tablespoon of butter during this reheating process).

    When done add in parmesan cheese and peas! Enjoy

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