Spinach risotto with crisp pancetta



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1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1½ cups (300g) arborio rice
6 cups (1.5L) hot chicken stock (see tip)
500g frozen spinach, thawed, drained
1 cup (80g) grated parmesan
20g butter
100g pancetta slices (see tip)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan on medium. Pan-fry onion and garlic for 3 minutes, until onion is soft.

2. Add rice and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add hot stock in ½-cup measures, stirring, until liquid is absorbed before adding more. Cook for 25-30 minutes, until rice is tender and creamy. Stir through spinach, parmesan and butter. Season to taste.

3. Meanwhile, place pancetta on a baking tray under a hot grill. Cook for 5 minutes, until crisp. Drain on paper towel. Tear into pieces. Serve risotto topped with pancetta.