My favorite pasta turned into my favorite risotto. The deeply browned pork fat on the bottom of the saucepan makes for a deep, almost beefy sauce, while the high-starch rice contributes crucial creaminess without adding a drop of heavy cream.
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 30minutes
Total Time 45minutes
Author Casey Barber
1cupcubed pancetta(1/4-1/2-inch cubes)
1teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1/4cupfinely grated Parmesan cheese
Bring the chicken broth and wine to a simmer in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
Prep an egg poaching station: fill a 2-quart stockpot with water and add the salt and vinegar. Crack one egg into a ramekin and have the other three eggs at the ready.
Add the olive oil and pancetta to a large saucepan or deep skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes over medium-low heat until the pancetta renders its fat and browns to a crisp. You’ll develop a beautiful brown—not burnt! if it burns, turn the heat down!—crust on the bottom of the pan as the pancetta cooks.
Remove the pancetta bits from the pan and reserve. Add the butter to the saucepan. When the butter is fully melted, add the onion and garlic and stir well to deglaze and scrape up all that gorgeous, tasty brown coating in the pan.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are very soft and translucent. Stir in the rice and cook for 2-3 minutes to toast the kernels.
Add 1/2 cup of the broth to the rice and stir gently until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring gently as the rice continues to cook and absorb liquid.
Halfway through adding the broth, bring the pot of salted, vinegared water to a bare simmer. Stir the simmering water with the end of a spoon or spatula to start a whirlpool effect in the pot, then gently pour the egg from the ramekin into the center of the whirlpool.
Cook for 3-4 minutes to poach, then remove the egg with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining three eggs while you continue to cook the risotto.
After 15-20 minutes, most of the broth should be absorbed and the rice should taste tender and chewy but slightly firm to the bite. There will still be a good amount of sauce in the pan with the rice; risotto isn’t fluffy and dry like a pilaf, but retains a slightly soupy texture.
Turn off the heat, stir in the pepper and Parmesan, and add salt to taste if needed. Spoon into four bowls and top each with a poached egg. Sprinkle with additional pepper and Parmesan to garnish.