About this recipe:In this unique Italian risotto, the sweetness of grapes makes a nice contrast to the sharpness of Gorgonzola and the crisp, salty pancetta.
1L vegetable stock, or as needed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely sliced
320g risotto rice (Arborio or Carnaroli)
120ml white wine
50g pancetta (or streaky bacon), cut into thin slices or cubes
50g Gorgonzola cheese (or any sharp blue cheese), crumbled
1 knob butter
20 green grapes, halved
ground black pepper, to taste
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Method Prep:10min › Cook:20min › Ready in:30min
Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan and cook the shallot over low heat until softened.
Add the rice and toast for a few minutes, until the rice becomes translucent and has absorbed the oil. Turn up the heat, pour in the wine and simmer till the alcohol has evaporated and the wine is mostly absorbed by the rice.
Reduce heat to medium and begin to add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring after each addition and adding the next only when the first one is fully absorbed. The rice will take about 18 to 20 to cook fully.
In a small pan, cook pancetta until browned and crisp.
Once risotto is cooked, remove pan from heat and stir in butter, Gorgonzola and half of the pancetta. Fold in well, until the cheese melts. Then add grapes and gently stir.
Divide between serving plates and sprinkle over the remaining pancetta. Dust with some freshly ground black pepper and serve.
If you prefer a more delicate flavour, replace Gorgonzola with Taleggio, another Italian soft but less sharp cheese.
If you use a vegetable stock made from stock cubes or bouillon powder, that along with the salty pancetta and cheese means that you shouldn't need to add additional salt to the dish. However, if you use a salt-free stock, you may want to add salt to taste towards the end of cooking.