I've been experimenting with a good bit of Italian lately, and stumbled upon a creation that is actually very nice if you like Risotto. I thought I would share here since there is a lot of sharing and criticism in this thread, some of which I hope to receive. I will say now that this isn't exactly a fat-free recipe, and that I used Arborio rice that I found online (will not plug the website here because I don't know if it is proper or not, but if interested you can PM me).
3 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine (2 of which should be divided)
0.25-0.50 pounds Pancetta
2 Tablespoons + 1 Teaspoon Finely chopped Scallions
2 Shallots, diced fine
1+1/3 Cup Small (Short) grain rice
1/2 Cup White Wine (Chardonnay from Riverbend Winery is what I used)
2 Pints Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Grated Fresh Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) *Plus* two small slices of Parmesan for each serving (about 3 inch slices or so)
3-4 Tablespoons Basil, chiffonade (chiffonaded?)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Find a heavy saucepan, and into it melt one tablespoon of that butter over medium-low heat, add the pancetta. Once crisped (not burned), remove from the pan, leaving as much of the fat and butter in the pot as you can. Add the shallots to your pot, along with a healthy pinch of salt, and sweat for 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, find a second pot and heat it over medium heat; adding your Chicken Stock and heating to just below a simmer, tweaking the heat as necessary.
In your first pan now (the one with shallots), add your rice and saute; stirring regularly as to not burn it, until it starts to make a sound closely associated with Rice Crispies in milk (about 2-3 minutes in most cases). Add your scallions at this point, and slowly stir in your wine, stirring until the wine is almost completely absorbed by the rice, about another 2-3 minutes.
From here your attention is 100% demanded to the rice, tune out any other distractions. Add just enough stock from pot "B" into pot "A" as to cover the rice and stir almost constantly, allowing the stock to be absorbed. Continue to repeat this process (adding stock and stirring to absorb) until the rice is nearing it's finished state of "al dente," at which point you can add less and less stock each installment. Keep cooking until the rice is soft to the bite with just a bit of give or chew. Stir in the divided butter, add the grated cheese, and add a little bit of salt/pepper/spice to your taste (keep in mind the pancetta is yet to be added and is quite salty). Portion evenly into bowls, add the slices of parmesan and the pancetta, top with a bit of the chiffonade basil and serve.
This dish goes very will with white wines, and can be served along side a meat entree or on it's own with rolls and a salad. I hope you get to try it and enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed creating it. Tell me about any changes you make and how you enjoyed or disliked them! I wish I could bring you a picture of this dish now, but I did not think of it at the time. Next time I prepare it I will make it a point to take a photo and add it to this post. Enjoy!