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Creamy pancetta risotto is formed into cakes, breaded and fried until golden brown and crisp. Perfect for a party or as an appetizer!
In a medium pot, with a lid, heat the chicken stock over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cover.
In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, cook the pancetta until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crisp, about five minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pan and set aside. Reserve the fat.
Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about thirty to forty-five seconds. Add the rice and stir until the rice is coated in the fat, about one minute. Add the wine and stir until absorbed.
Begin adding the warm broth, ½ cup at a time. Stir after each addition and add more broth as the rice absorbs the previous addition, about twenty minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly before you add the cooked pancetta, parsley, cheese, red pepper, salt and pepper, ¼ cup of the panko and one egg white. Mix well then spread the risotto onto a large sheet pan to cool completely.
Prepare two shallow dishes, one with the remaining panko and the other with the remaining egg whites mixed with the water. Using a disher, or a tablespoon, scoop the risotto mixture into 1” balls. Flatten gently with your palm, but don’t press them too thin, then dip first in the egg whites and then into the panko.
In a heavy skillet, heat ½” of oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Carefully add the risotto cakes, leaving 1” of space between them as they cook. You will have to cook them in batches. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Once cooked, drain the cakes on paper towels. You can keep them in a warm (250F) oven if you need to hold them.
While the cakes drain, heat the vodka sauce and basil in a small saucepan over medium heat until it simmers.
Serve the cakes with the sauce.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!