Parsnip Risotto with Pancetta and Sage
Sweet parsnips, salty pancetta, and aromatic sage—does winter food get any better?
Serves four to six.
1-1/2 lb. medium parsnips, peeled, cored, and cut into medium dice (2-1/2 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3 oz. thinly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (about 1 cup)
3 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh sage
3 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, cut into small dice
2 cups arborio rice
Pinch of crumbled saffron (optional)
6 cups lower-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 oz. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for serving
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the parsnips and boil until firm-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and spread on a rimmed baking sheet to cool to room temperature.
Heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the parsnips, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook until sizzling and crisp, about 2 minutes. Add the sage and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and the sage is starting to crisp, about 2 minutes more. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil in an 11- to 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, a small pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the rice, 2 tsp. salt, and the saffron (if using), stirring well to coat. Add 2 cups of the broth and the wine; simmer, stirring, until the liquid is completely absorbed, 3 to 4 minutes. Continue adding the broth in 1 cup increments, stirring and adjusting the heat to maintain a brisk simmer and letting each addition be almost absorbed before adding the next. The risotto is done when the rice is nearly but not fully tender (al dente) and still a little soupy (this usually takes 14 to 16 minutes after the first addition of liquid). You may not use all the broth, but you should use at least 4 cups.
Fold the parsnip mixture into the risotto. Add the butter and Parmigiano and stir gently to incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with more grated Parmigiano.
nutrition information (per serving):
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 102
, pp. 70
October 29, 2009