Pasta Risotto with Peas and Pancetta

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life -

Law­son’s recipe calls for gar­lic-flavoured oil, which I don’t gen­er­ally have on hand.

If you do, just use that in place of olive oil and con­tinue with the recipe.

If not, I’ve ad­justed the recipe be­low to flavour the oil at the start of cook­ing.

Other­wise, this recipe is as ap­pears in Nigel­lis­sima.

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil 2 cloves gar­lic, peeled and crushed

6 oz (170 g) cubed pancetta 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) frozen peas

1/2 lb (250 g) orzo pasta 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) boil­ing wa­ter

Salt, to taste

1 tbsp (15 mL) soft but­ter 2 tbsp (30 mL) grated Parme­san

Pep­per, to taste

Warm the oil in a heavy pan that will take ev­ery­thing later; a Dutch oven or saucepan of 10 inches di­am­e­ter should be plenty big enough.

Add the gar­lic and let cook un­til fra­grant, swirling in the oil oc­ca­sion­ally, about 3 or 4 min­utes. (Don’t let it brown; that will add a bit­ter flavour to the dish.) Re­move the gar­lic. Add the pancetta and cook, stir­ring, un­til it be­comes crisp and bronzed, then add the peas and stir for a minute or so un­til the frozen look leaves them.

Add the pasta and turn it about in the pancetta and peas then pour in the boil­ing wa­ter.

Add salt (cau­tiously, es­pe­cially if this is for chil­dren — the pancetta is salty, as is the Parme­san later); then turn down the heat and let sim­mer for 10 min­utes, though check on it a cou­ple of times and give a stir or two, to stop it from stick­ing and to see if you need to add a lit­tle more wa­ter from the ket­tle.

When it’s ready, the pasta should be soft and starchy and the wa­ter ab­sorbed.

Beat the but­ter and Parme­san into the pan, check the sea­son­ing and serve im­me­di­ately into warm wait­ing bowls.

Serves 2 hun­gry grown-ups or 4 small chil­dren.

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