Sunday, May 15, 2005

Pancetta, French Lentil and Spinach Risotto

Pancetta, French Lentil and Spinach Risotto (Adapted from CL)

4 cups water
1/2 cup dried petite green lentils
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped leek
1/4 cup chopped shallots
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 ounces (1/2 cup) fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a medium saucepan, add water and lentils - bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well and set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring broth to a simmer - keep warm over low heat.

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium - add pancetta and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir in onion, leek and shallots - cook until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in rice - cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in wine - cook, stirring, until liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup broth - cook until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add the remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next - about 20 to 22 minutes total. Stir in spinach - cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in lentils and cook until thoroughly heated, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese - check for seasonings and add additional salt and fresh ground black pepper, if desired.

Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

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