Celery Apple Risotto With Crispy Pancetta


1 cup celery, diced (about 4 stalks)
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 apples, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 ounces pancetta, diced
Salt and Pepper to taste


In a small saucepan, pour chicken broth and simmer on medium heat.
In a large sauce pot, melt 1 Tbsp butter and oil together. Add diced onion, celery and two of the diced apples, and lemon juice.
Saute on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until onions and celery are soft. Add minced garlic and continue to stir.
Add arborio rice to large sauce pot and stir until well mixed. Slowly add chicken broth 1/2 to 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly.
Continue to mix with each addition of chicken broth, until all liquid is incorporated (25-30 minutes total).
When all liquid is absorbed and rice is just past al dente, remove from heat and all Parmesan reggiano cheese and remaining butter and stir. Add remaining finely diced apple and stir thoroughly. The risotto will be done when it no longer can absorb additional liquid.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook diced pancetta over medium heat, and place cooked pancetta on paper towel to absorb excess grease.
Plate risotto, and top with chopped chives and pancetta crumbles.




I really wanted a subtle apple sweetness to be the predominant flavor of this dish. When the risotto finished cooking, the apple was masked behind the earthy flavor of the celery and a hint of garlic. I used a softer apple (Macoun)and both the flavor and texture of the apple was lost in the risotto. Using a finely diced up apple mixed in after cooking gave it the perfect balance I was looking for. Next time around I would opt for a firmer apple, like a Braeburn or Granny Smith. The pancetta could just as easily be bacon and still get that great sweet salty balance. Happy fall to you and yours, and best
(Adapted from Bon Appetit, 2007)


6 servings


Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - 9:47am


Related Cooking Videos