Leek & Pancetta Risotto

Leek & Pancetta Risotto

2 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine January/February 2011

Sizzled pancetta gives this creamy leek risotto great flavor and a bit of added crispy texture. We add a splash of wine along with each addition of broth to give the dish a more pronounced wine flavor. If you'd prefer the wine to be more subtle, add the entire cup at the end of Step 3 and cook, stirring, until the liquid is gone, then begin adding the broth. You can substitute more broth in place of the wine.

Ingredients 8 servings

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  • 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 ounces pancetta (see Note), cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks (whites & light green parts only), rinsed well
  • 1 cup chopped shallots or onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio, carnaroli or other Italian “risotto” rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the broth remains steaming, but is not simmering.
  2. Cook pancetta in a small nonstick pan over medium heat, stirring, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate while you prepare the rest of the risotto.
  3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add leeks, shallots (or onion) and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice and salt and stir to coat.
  4. Stir 1/2 cup of the hot broth and a generous splash of wine into the rice. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to cook on medium-low, adding broth in 1/2-cup increments followed by a splash of wine, and stirring frequently after each addition, until most of the liquid is absorbed. The risotto is done when you've used all the broth and wine and the rice is creamy and just tender, 25 to 35 minutes total.
  5. Remove from the heat; stir in 3/4 cup cheese and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the crispy pancetta and the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
  • Note: Pancetta is an unsmoked Italian bacon usually found in the deli section of large supermarkets and specialty food stores.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 3/4 cup
  • Per serving: 279 calories; 8 g fat(3 g sat); 1 g fiber; 35 g carbohydrates; 10 g protein; 27 mcg folate; 12 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 696 IU vitamin A; 5 mg vitamin C; 150 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 706 mg sodium; 268 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 2

January 08, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious Great flavors. Creamy. Overall, a very good risotto. I served it with pan seared scallops seared in the leftover pancetta oil and a warm spinach salad. I will definitely make this again. Pros: creamy Cons: its a risotto, its not a quick dish
April 26, 2011
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By: colinandbecky
too oniony Followed the directions and it turned out well. Just didn't care for the strong onion/leek flavor. Will try a different flavor next time. Pros: makes a good risotto Cons: too much onion flavor