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Peas and Pancetta Risotto

Serves: 4

I created this recipe for my TELUS team who joined me for a virtual cooking class. A glass of wine and chatting with my team was a lot of fun. The risotto and bocconcini tomato cucumber salad turned out perfectly.

When I was growing up risotto was basically Arborio rice which was boiled until it was a mushy paste and put on a plate to eat it. We were living at my uncle’s house when we came to Canada and my aunt made this all the time. Not sure if it was because they didn’t have a lot of money but as a child of 5, I got so twisted up that mom had to resort to tying me at the post of the table so I would calm down. Lucky that at that time I enjoyed time to myself and even though I went to bed without eating, I was happy I didn’t have to eat rice. I honestly thought this was rice and only until I was 18 years old did I learn that rice was a whole lot different.

This risotto can be made with or without the pancetta. Full of flavour and to me, comfort food when I need it.


1 tbsp butter (2 tbsp if not using pancetta)

½ cup finely chopped shallot

1 tbsp minced garlic

150 grams chopped pancetta

2 cups Arborio rice

1 cup white wine

2 x 900 ml Campbell’s chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup frozen peas (rinsed)

¼ tsp pepper or paprika

2 tbsp butter

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup finely chopped parsley

Salt to taste

Grated parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Over high heat melt butter in a large sauce pan and add shallot, garlic and pancetta

  2. Stir and cook until shallots are soft, if using pancetta cook until pancetta is almost crispy

  3. Add rice and stir until rice gets a translucent look. About four minutes

  4. Pour in wine and lower heat to simmer and cook until wine has been absorbed

  5. Pour in one container of broth and turn heat to high until it boils hard then reduce to simmer.

  6. Stir occasionally until liquid has been absorbed. About 8 to 10 minutes

  7. Pour in ½ of the second container of broth and stir in frozen peas, salt and pepper or paprika

  8. Let simmer and stir occasionally until liquid is absorbed which should take between 4 – 6 minutes

  9. Taste rice to see if it is cooked if not add half of leftover broth and simmer until liquid is absorbed. Once again try for rice doneness. If not cooked and the rest of the liquid and keep simmering until liquid is absorbed. At this point the rice should be cooked.

  10. Add 2 tbsp butter, parmesan, mozzarella cheese and parsley and stir until everything is combined

Serve immediately and with sprinkle parmesan


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