Growing Chefs! Ontario Risotto alla Carbonara

Risotto alla Carbonara

Carbonara is a rich tasting classic Italian pasta dish. This is a version using risotto rice instead of noodles, which is just as delicious, and a little bit fancier!
Serves 4
2 shallots, finely diced2 cloves of garlic, finely minced1/4 cup butter2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil2 cups Arborio rice1 cup lemon juice4 cups chicken stock Freshly ground black pepper, to taste, plus additional for garnish1/2 cup diced pancetta2 tablespoons white vinegar4 eggs1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus additional for garnish1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped Salt to taste Truffle oil or garlic oil, for drizzling (optional) Pea shoots for garnish, optional
Cutting boardChef's knifeRasp (optional)Measuring cupsMeasuring spoonsShallow pot or medium frying panMedium potSmall potWooden spoonBowls of various sizes for ingredientsSlotted spoonLadlePeelerGraterTasting spoonsClean dish towel

Get Organized!

Gather your mis en place; get together all of the equipment needed for the recipe and gather your ingredients.

Get Prepped!

Dice the shallots by cutting it in half, root to tip. Make very fine incisions almost to the root, leaving the root intact. Dice the shallots very finely.

Mince the garlic very finely with a chef’s knife, or using a rasp.

Grate parmesan cheese using the rasp or the fine teeth of a grater. Shave 10 – 15 peels of parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler, and set aside for garnish.

Remove parsley leaves from the stem, discard the stems. Chop the leaves very finely, into a chiffonade.

Dice the pancetta into small pieces, about ½ cm cubed.

Measure out the additional ingredients; butter, olive oil, arborio rice, white wine, white vinegar.

Break eggs carefully into separate small bowls, making sure to keep yolks intact.

In a medium pot, add stock along with 3 cups of hot water, and bring to a low simmer.

In a small pot, add about 1 litre of water and bring to a boil.

Get Cooking!

Turn on stove to medium heat, and in frying pan add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots, and a pinch of salt. Stir frequently, until shallots are translucent. Add pancetta, and continue to cook, about 5 minutes until pancetta is crispy and shallots are very soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more, stirring frequently.

Add all of the white wine, and let cook down until only about 2 tablespoons of liquid is left.

Add the rice to the pan, cook for about 2 minutes until the rice starts to turn translucent. Add about 1 cup of hot stock from pot directly into the pan, and stir once. Let all of the stock come close to evaporating, and then add another cup of hot stock, and stir. Important; only stir rice when adding liquid!

Continue this process of adding stock and stirring about 5 or 6 times, until rice is cooked al dente (“to the tooth” in italian, meaning that it still has a small amount of a bite to it).

When your rice is al dente, add 2 tablespoons of butter, and sprinkle in parmesan cheese and italian parsley, leaving a small amount of parsley for garnish. Season with salt to taste, and freshly cracked black pepper. Now it is okay to stir the rice together as much as needed to make a smooth, creamy dish. If rice seems too thick, add a bit more of the hot stock to thin it down a bit.

In small pot with boiling water, add vinegar and using slotted spoon, swirl the water quickly in a circular motion to make a vortex. Carefully add in two eggs at a time. Set a timer for 3 minutes.

Quickly plate your risotto, spoon the risotto into a shallow bowl. Scoop up your poached egg with a slotted spoon and place on top of your risotto. Season egg with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Sprinkle risotto with additional peels of parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and if desired garnish with pea shoots and truffle oil. Serve immediately.