Recipe by ratherbeswimmin'
Riso e Lenticchie. In 'Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy' by Lidia Bastianich
- 2 ounces pancetta or 2 ounces bacon, cut into pieces
- 1 cup onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup carrot, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1⁄2 cup dry whtie wine
- 8 -10 cups hot water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 1 1⁄2 cups italian short-grain rice (Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano)
- 1 cup chopped scallion
- 1⁄2 cup grated grana padano (plus more for passing) or 1⁄2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese (plus more for passing)
Directions See How It's Made
- Drop the pancetta into the food processor bowl, and pulse several times, to chop the meat into small bits.
- Scrape all the chopped pancetta right into a heavy 5- to 6-quart saucepan.
- Put the onion, carrot, celery, and sage leaves into the empty food processor bowl, and mince together into a fine-textured paste or pestata.
- Put the butter and olive oil into the saucepan with the minced pancetta, and set over med-high heat.
- Cook, stirring, as the butter melts and the fat starts to render.
- When the pancetta is sizzling, scrape in the vegetable pestata, and stir it around the pan until it has dried and begins to stick, 4 minutes or so.
- Clear a space on the pan bottom and drop in the tomato paste, toast it in the hot spot for a minute, then stir together with the pestata.
- Increase the heat, pour in the wine, and cook, stirring, until the wine has almost completely evaporated.
- Pour in 8 cups of hot water and the tablespoon of salt, stir well, and heat to a boil (add all 10 cups of hot water if you want to serve the rice and lentils as a thick soup rather than a denser riso).
- Cover the pan, and decrease the heat slightly, to keep the water at a moderate boil, and let it bubble for 20 minutes or so, to deepen the flavors.
- Stir in the lentils, return to a gentle boil, and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils just start to soften, 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in the rice, return to a bubbling simmer, and cook, cover ajar, until the rice is al dente, 13 minutes or so.
- If the dish is thickening more than you like, lower the heat and cover the pan completely.
- If it seems too thin, remove the cover and cook at a faster boil.
- When the rice and lentils are fully cooked, turn off the heat.
- Stir in the scallions and grated cheese.
- Serve in warm bowls, passing more cheese at the table.