Creamy Sweet Corn and Pancetta Risotto

I have never been a rice lover. It always seems so bland. There are a few times when someone has made an amazingly tasteful rice dish. When I have one of those great rice dishes I run home trying to duplicate it. It has never worked! I just don’t have the gift of rice yet. It must run in the family – my niece tells me that her mom (my sister) doesn’t have the gift of rice either. Yes sis, your daughter talks trash about your rice – sorry to break it to you this way!

Risotto is a different story. Made with Arborio rice, risotto is something I love and can find a million different ways to feed whatever craving I have at that moment. And if I follow the simple techniques that make risotto so creamy, I do not experience a rice disaster. One day I will share my mushroom risotto (my favorite) but this Sweet Corn and Pancetta Risotto is fresh and delicious as well. Seasonal summer corn, dry white wine, salty parmesan cheese, and crispy pancetta combine to make a creamy, balanced side dish. It pairs perfectly with Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken and a nice white wine.

Although a lot of stirring is a must in this recipe – you cannot skip the constant stirring – the end result is well worth it. Once you know the basic technique of making risotto, create your own flavor combination. Wild Mushrooms and Thyme, Asparagus and Bacon, or a simple cheesy parmesan risotto. Give it a shot this weekend!

Sweet Corn and Pancetta Risotto


1 Small onion, diced

1 Cup Corn kernels, freshly cut from cob

4 Tbsp Butter

1 1/2 Cups Arborio rice

1/2 Cup Dry white wine

5 Cups Chicken Broth

1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese (Grated)

1/4 lb Pancetta, sliced 1/4 in thick, diced small

1 tsp Olive Oil

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped for garnish

  1. Heat chicken broth over medium heat until hot. Reduce heat to keep warm.
  2. In medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add pancetta until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towels.
  3. Ad 2 tbls butter to same pan. Add onion and sweat, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add rice, stir for 3 minutes.
  5. Add wine, stirring until almost all of liquid is absorbed.
  6. Add one cup of the heated broth. Stir constantly until almost all of liquid is absorbed, about 4-5 minutes.
  7. Continue this process (one cup broth, stir, stir, stir) allowing liquid to be absorbed each time until rice is tender and creamy, about a total of 20 minutes.
  8. Stir in corn, remaining butter, and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Top each individual serving with pancetta and basil.

2 responses

  1. I made the pancetta risotto Sunday as a side dish. It was really good and worth all the stirring!! I will be making this again for sure. Thanks Tanya!

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