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Risotto with Scallops, Pancetta & Spinach

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Serves four to five as a main course, eight as a first course.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 91

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. pancetta, cut into small dice
  • 1 small onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 1 quart lower-salt chicken broth, heated
  • 1 lb. all-natural “dry” bay scallops
  • 7 oz. baby spinach, washed, spun dry, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for sprinkling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the onion and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 4 to 6 minutes longer.

Stir in the rice until well coated with fat. Add the vermouth and cook, stirring constantly until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of broth and cook, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed, about 3 minutes. Continue adding the broth 1 cup at a time, stirring very frequently until each addition is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes total. Add 1 cup of water and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is just barely done, 3 to 5 minutes more.

Add the scallops and spinach and cook, stirring constantly, until the scallops are just cooked, the spinach wilts, and the rice is mostly tender, with a little chew at the center, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the Parmigiano and season to taste with salt. Serve immediately, sprinkling each portion with a little Parmigiano and a grind or two of pepper.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 390; Fat (g): fat g 11; Fat Calories (kcal): 100; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 3.5; Protein (g): protein g 22; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 50; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 600; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 30; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was my first risotto cooking experience and we were very pleased. The ingredients were simple and the flavor was great. My husband complimented it at least 5 times during the meal! Yay!

We really enjoyed this and will likely make it again. The scallops were nicely done and we liked that the whole meal was done in one pot. We might, as another reviewer suggested, add mushrooms next time.

Good but rich! I used all chicken broth and no water.

I've made this a few times-excellent every time. My seem time consuming, but it actually goes pretty quickly.

Turned out perfect! I added mushrooms to the recipe at the beginning with the onions, and used 1/2 scallops and 1/2 shrimp which were nice additions.

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