Pancetta, Sun-blush Tomato and Pine-nut Risotto

Essential  Cuisine

Essential Cuisine

Premium Supplier 21st February 2012

Pancetta, Sun-blush Tomato and Pine-nut Risotto

You should use Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone rice for your authentic risotto.

The secret of a good risotto is all in the texture and look of the rice.
The best tip is making sure that when the rice has been tossed and quickly fried that it has started to crack. If you examine the rice carefully you will see fine lines appearing on the grains, and it will also go slightly translucent. At this point the rice will allow the stock to be absorbed.
Also make sure that the stock is hot; cold stock will result in the risotto cooling down and the rice going stodgy.
Some people say the best risotto is stirred in the same direction this again stops the rice from going too stodgy.
Finally always make sure you use the best stock possible.


  • 2tbsp Olive oil
  • 100g Chopped onion
  • 2 Finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 300g Risotto rice (see our tips)
  • 100ml Dry white wine
  • 20g Essential Cuisine Chicken Stock
  • 700ml Water
  • 150g Grilled strips or batons of pancetta (lardons)
  • 50g Thinly sliced sun-blush tomatoes
  • 50g Toasted pine-nuts
  • 2tbsp Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 Knob unsalted butter
  • 1tbsp Finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives, chervil)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • A good twist of freshly ground pepper
  • Sea Salt Season to your taste


Heat the olive oil in a good pre-heated thick-bottomed saucepan. Add chopped onion and the garlic and cook for 10 - 15 minutes without allowing the onion to brown.
Add rice and sauté (lightly fry) with the onions and butter until the rice becomes translucent (slightly see through) and starts to crack. Add the wine and stir.
Make up the Essential Cuisine Chicken Stock with boiling water.
Add the "hot" stock, one ladle at a time to the rice, constantly but gently stirring.
Continue until all of the stock has been absorbed, the rice should still have a bite to it (al dente).
Carefully stir in the grilled pancetta batons, sun-blush tomatoes and pine-nuts and make sure it is thoroughly heated through.
Remove from the heat and stir in the mascarpone and butter and correct the consistency with hot water if required, sprinkle in the chopped herbs. And season to your taste
As with all risotto serve immediately on a warmed dish and garnish with shaved parmigiano and drizzled with olive oil.