Creamy Brown Butter Cauliflower & Pancetta Risotto


Creamy, restaurant-style risotto is just about the Best. Thing. Ever. Believe it or not, you can make risotto yourself quite easily, even for those who wouldn’t call themselves “chefs!”

If I haven’t tantalized you yet, let me just add that this risotto recipe includes brown butter and pancetta…

To cut the richness, I add in some cauliflower that melts into the risotto and adds a subtle sweetness that’s just heavenly.

The best part of making risotto at home is that you’re making risotto to-order. Typically, at restaurants, it’s difficult to make a new batch for every customer that orders it. That means risotto gets mushy and turns into more of a pudding than a risotto! Risotto is traditionally made in Italy just like pasta: al dente! The rice itself has some “bite” but the surrounding “sauce” is creamy, decadent, and comforting.

Make your own restaurant-style risotto and enjoy alone or top with seared scallops or chicken!

My STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO below will help guide you through the recipe. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for recipe videos every week!

 

 

 

Makes: 4 medium portions

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

The Ingredients

1 ½ cups Arborio rice

12 ounces bite-sized cauliflower florets

1 small yellow onion, chopped

5-6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (you can sub vegetable broth but chicken broth is more flavorful!)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

1/3 cup grated parmesan (or Parmigiano-Reggiano) cheese

4 ounces diced pancetta

Black pepper

 

 

 

The Steps

For pancetta: In a small dry pot, cook pancetta until crispy, about 6-8 minutes over medium heat. Use a slotted spoon to separate grease from pancetta, discarding of grease and setting pancetta aside.

For creamy risotto: In a large pot over medium-low heat, add a tablespoon of butter and rice. Toast rice in butter for 3 minutes. Add onion, and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add 2 cups of broth and increase heat to medium-high. Stirring every few minutes, cook rice in broth for 5-7 minutes until rice soaks up about 75% of the broth.

Add 1 more cup of broth (cup 3) and cauliflower, making sure the florets are submerged in liquid. Follow the same process: stir every few minutes, cooking rice in broth for 5-7 minutes until rice soaks up about 75% of the broth.

Add another cup of broth (cup 4), cooking rice in broth for 5-7 minutes until rice soaks up about 75% of the broth, stirring often.

Add a last cup of broth (cup 5), cooking rice in broth for 5-7 minutes until rice soaks up about 90% of the broth, stirring often.

Now it’s time to taste! The risotto should be al-dente! If it is too hard, add a ½ cup more of broth and keep cooking. If it is al dente, turn your burner off.

For brown butter: In a small saucepan, add 7 tablespoons of butter. Let butter melt over medium heat. After butter melts, wait for sizeable bubbles to form in the butter (may take a few minutes). This is right before the butter browns! Turn heat to low and move pan in a circular motion to keep butter active while still over heat. Wait for the butter to turn a deep mahogany, in about a minute or two (but not black…AKA burned!). Remove immediately from heat, and pour over risotto.

Add pancetta, parmesan and black pepper. Stir until creamy.

Serve immediately.

TIP: serve alone (my favorite way) or top with seared scallops, chicken, or another protein!

 

 

The Steps with Video

My STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO below will help guide you through the recipe. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for recipe videos every week!

YouTube video

 

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