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Herby pea and pancetta risotto

Herby pea and pancetta risotto
Oh my goodness. What a crazy few weeks we’ve had. As you may have noticed, I haven’t blogged for a while. Regular readers will know this is because we FINALLY moved into our farmhouse, the one that we have been renovating for the past 14 months. I am exhausted. Like, properly knackered. But happy and trying to get back into the swing of things. It feels so nice to be back blogging again! So please expect normal business to resume from this moment forward… 

The lovely people at Phipps PR got in touch to ask if I could make a few meals using their clients’ ingredients. The first one being Kallo stock cubes. Now, I didn’t have to think very long about this as I genuinely use them anyway!! I didn’t even need them to send me any, just grabbed a couple of cubes out of my lovely new farmhouse kitchen cupboard! 
Why do I like Kallo chicken stock cubes? Well, they are organic, which means the chuck had a high welfare life. It also means there are no nasties in there. But in addition to that, they are low salt. That is a massive win, as when I use other stocks, even good quality organic ones, they are SO salty, so much so that I don’t add additional salt. With Kallo you can cook your family meal, and then the adults can season as they like, leaving the kids’ meals tasty but not over salted. 
This risotto is a great one to try with kids. Most like peas and bacon right? The herbs – especially the mint – give a real freshness. It’s a lovely, easy supper that wouldn’t be out of place at a grown up dinner party either. 
I wouldn’t use dried mint or parsley in this recipe – it has to be fresh. We’re lucky enough to have inherited a lovely mint plant at the farm but you can get both easily at the supermarket. 
Just a quick word about risotto… People make a lot of fuss about risotto, saying you have to stand stirring the whole time. I occasionally make non-stir risottos, which are great. But when I do choose the stir method, I treat it a bit like porridge – I DO stir, but I’m not a slave to it. I wander about and add more stock regularly, giving a little stir and pouncing about with a drink in hand normally! SO don’t be too precious about it – as long as the rice soaks up the stock and it’s not sticking to the pan, you’re good. 
Serves: 4
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes (approx)
Total time: 33 minutes 

2 tablespoons of olive oil 
1 onion, red or white, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed 
1 litre of Kallo organic chicken stock (2 cubes)
1 small glass of white wine
300g Arborio rice
200g frozen peas
125g pancetta (I used high quality smoked streaky bacon from my butchers, rind removed and snipped into lardons, but pre cut pancetta lardons are great)
50g Parmesan, grated (plus extra for grating on top)
1/2 lemon, juice (and zest if unwaxed)
About 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint
About 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Herby green salad: 
2 little gem lettuces, shredded (apart from core)
About 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint
About 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard 
About 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
Salt and pepper
  1. Heat some oil in a heavy bottom pan. Soften the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the pancetta. Let it caramelise and crisp up a bit for about 5 more minutes. 
  3. Tip in the rice and coat in oil for a minute. Add the wine and let it sizzle for a minute. 
  4. Whilst that is happening, prepare the stock by boiling the kettle and letting the cubes melt in a plastic or similar jug. Give it a mix to melt the cubes. 
  5. Add the stock to the pan a bit at a time, stir and let the rice soak up the stock gradually. 
  6. When the litre is gone, the rice should be almost done. At this point boil the kettle and add a lick or two more until the rice is plump and cooked through – the only way to tell is to taste. 
  7. Add a squeeze of lemon, the cheese, throw in most of the herbs, pepper – and taste. Adjust as you like. 
  8. Serve with a herby lettuce salad. Shred the lettuce. Mix the dressing in a little bowl and drizzle over leaves. Don’t worry, I’m not expecting your kids to eat this part (but well done if they do). 
Pea and pancetta risotto with mint and parsley
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Phipps PR as such it was a paid for post. The links are no follow as per Google guidelines. 

1 Comment

  1. August 4, 2015 / 1:26 pm

    Ooh interesting, I'll look out for these stock cubes next time I'm shopping…

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