Cooking Smitten Kitchen’s Pancetta, Egg & Leek Risotto

One of the problems I’ve found with being so adventurous in my cooking exploits (to a degree at least) is that I’m making food that I’ve never actually had before. That was the case when I made Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Bacon, Egg & Leek Risotto, I’d never had risotto before, but here I was making something that every cooking show I’d ever seen said was a very time intensive and easy to mess up dish. And, as you might expect, I messed it up, but just a tiny bit.

As you can see from the photos and the heading, I went with pancetta instead of bacon. This is not because I like the former more than the latter but because I honestly didn’t feel like chopping up a quarter of a slab of bacon and figuring out what to do with the rest. Our grocery store has perfectly portioned packages of pancetta for just such an occasion, so I went with that. Aside from that, though, I did everything else according to the recipe.

I browned the pancetta and removed it, then did the same with the leeks before doing the onions and adding the rice. I also had the stock warming on the stove the whole time and made sure it didn’t quite get to boiling (good thing we’ve got that simmer burner, which was perfect for this). At that point it was a matter of adding the warm stock a half cup at a time and stirring until it was absorbed. I tried to do this to the best of my ability but the end results wound up being a little undercooked.

Other than some slightly undercooked rice, though, this was a super duper tasty recipe. The great thing about risotto is that it winds up being kind of like a rice version of mac and cheese and you know I’m down with that. I’m still not sure how much I like leeks, but they were pretty good here if a little bitter at times. All in all, this will stay on the keep pile and surely come back into play when the weather gets a bit cooler. This was not a great dish to cook in the heat.

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