Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Baked Risotto With Pancetta and Carmelized Onions

While I was in Oregon, I checked out a book from the Alsea library. Yes, I have a library card from Alsea, Oregon. We go there every Summer and I enjoy checking-out books from their library.  Anyway, I found this cookbook "Not Your Mother's Casseroles by Faith Durand.  This was one of the recipes that I copied from her cookbook.  It is a great cookbook by the way.  It is amazing to me how different onions taste when you carmalize them slowly in butter.  Yum. This is a great dish and I will certainly make it again
Printable Recipe:

Baked Risotto with Pancetta and Caramelized Onions
Here's an easy baked risotto that is oh-so-delicious and indulgent. It's a marvelous winter dish, with the smoky richness of crispy pancetta and a topping of sweet, dark caramelized onions. Serves 6.
CASSEROLE DISH: 3-quart Dutch oven or large ovenproof saucepan with lid
BAKE TIME: 20 to 25 minutes
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, cut in half from top to bottom and then lengthwise in thin half-moon slices
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In the Dutch oven or ovenproof saucepan, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until crisp. Add the olive oil and finely diced onion and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook the onion slowly, stirring frequently, until translucent. This will take about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and the rice and cook, stirring to coat the rice grains with oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant and tender. Turn the heat back up to high.
  3. Stir in the wine and cook until it has completely evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, transfer to the oven, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Maybe my lid wasn't as tight-fitting because it took mine about 45 minutes to absorbe most of the liquid.
  4. While the risotto is baking, caramelize the onions. Heat the butter over medium heat in a heavy saute pan, preferably a cast-iron skillet. When the butter foams up, add the sliced onions and stir to coat them with butter. Sprinkle them liberally with salt. Cook, stirring every 5 minutes or so, for at least 25 minutes, or until the onions have turned a rich mahogany brown.
  5. When the risotto is finished, remove from the oven and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately, topped with spoonfuls of caramelized onions and sprinkled with parsley, if using.

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