Risotto with Red Cabbage and Pancetta Recipe
A wonderful, cold-weather risotto that has its roots in the Venetian practice of cooking shredded Savoy and other cabbages very slowly in olive oil, garlic and pork fat. This recipe courtesy of Marcella Hazan, and her wonderful cookbook, Marcella Cucina (Haper Collins, 1997)
1 pound red cabbage
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped pancetta
2 medium cloves of hard-neck garlic - peeled and sliced very thin
black pepper - freshly ground
5 cups homemade meat broth, or More Than Gourmet Glace de Viande
1-1/2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Shred the cabbage very fine, obtaining about 4 cups.
2. Put the oil, chopped onion, and pancetta into the pot there you will be making the risotto, and turn on the hear to medium high. Cook, stirring from time to time, until the onion becomes colored a very pale gold. Add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until its scent begins to rise, but without letting it become colored.
3. Add the shredded cabbage and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, turing it over and over with a wooden spoon to coat it well. Add 1/2 cup water, salt, and generous grindings of pepper; turn the cabbage over once again; put a id on the pot; and turn te heat down to medium low. Cook until the cabbage has softened completely and all but dissolved to a creamy consistency, about 1 hour. If, during the cooking, you find that there is not sufficient moisture in the pot to keep the cabbage from sticking to the bottom, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water whenever necessary.
4. Then the cabbage is just about done, pour the broth into a saucepan and bring it to and keep it at a slow simmer on a burner close to the pot with the cabbage.
5. Uncover the pot with the cabbage, turn the heat up to medium high, and add the rice. Turn it over thoroughly and continuously for about 1 minute to coat it well. Add 1 cup of simmering broth, and cook the rice, stirring it and periodically adding liquid. Finish cooking the rice, stirring always and adding broth when needed, until it is tender but firm to the bite - about 25 minutes.
6. Off heat, perform the mantecare step, swirling in the butter and grated parmigiano-reggiano, turning the risotto over four or five times with your wooden spoon. Transferto a warm platter and serve at once.