Easy Pancetta Risotto

Fabio gives secrets on how to get incredible bacon flavor into your life, and then shows off the easiest, most foolproof way to prepare a classic Italian staple that's incredibly satisfying.


  • Pancetta is the Italian answer for bacon, salted and cured not cooked and smoked.

  • Never store bacon or pancetta in airtight container it will get slimy.

  • Freeze bacon 15 minutes before chopping; it's easier to cut that way.

  • A little pancetta flavor goes a long way, so it's great to flavor up risotto.

  • Reduce chicken stock as you cook to let the risotto slowly absorb flavor. Repeating this step as you taste the risotto will give you perfect results.

Recipe by Fabio Viviani

Yields 4 servings

8 oz. pancetta, diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of pepper
4 handfuls, approximately 1 ½ - 2 cups risotto
2 quarts chicken stock
1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
1 ea. lemon, zested


In a large sauce pot, render the pancetta in olive oil until crisp and golden brown.

Remove 3 large Tbsp. of pancetta and reserve for garnish.

Add to pot, 2 cups of Risotto and toss with pancetta and oil so that the rice absorbs the fat.

Add enough chicken stock to cover rice and let come to a simmer.

As the stock is absorbed, stir in more stock while the rice is cooking, enough to just cover the rice. You will add the stock about 3 times.

Taste the rice to see if it is cooked, then mix in butter and parmesan cheese.

To serve, garnish with reserved pancetta, chopped parsley and lemon zest.


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