Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
From "Ciao Italia!" episode "A Gift of Risotto." In northern Italian tradition, this is a "primi piatti" - a first course.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1⁄4 lb pancetta, diced
- 1 red onion, minced
- 1 1⁄2 cups arborio rice or 1 1⁄2 cups carnaroli rice
- 2 cups dry red wine (such as a Primitivo)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 4 -5 cups tomato juice, heated
- 1⁄2 cup grated asiago cheese
- 1⁄4 cup minced basil leaves
- Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook until crispy. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon, reserving fat.
- Add 3 tbsp oil to pan. Add onion and sweat until limp. Add rice and stir until well coated and rice is opaque.
- Add wine and stir constantly until the liquid is nearly fully absorbed.
- Add tomato juice, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. When the liquid is nearly fully absorbed, add the next cup. Continue cooking and stirring until rice is al dente - just barely tender - and the sauce is thick and creamy.
- Add Asiago cheese and basil. Stir well and serve. Garnish with pancetta, a few shavings of Asiago and a small sprig of basil.