Food Network Kitchen’s Pancetta and Leek Risotto for Two, as seen on Food Network.
Recipe courtesy of Amanda Neal for Food Network Kitchen

Pancetta and Leek Risotto for Two

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
You can't improve upon the classic stovetop risotto technique for a perfect hearty meal for two. We loaded this dish with tender leeks, crispy pancetta and baby spinach, giving this bowl a familiar flavor yet extra special appeal.



  1. Warm the chicken broth in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cover and keep warm while you make the risotto.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta to a paper-towel lined plate. 
  3. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat from the saucepan, then add the garlic, leek, a pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leek is tender and softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice, butter and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, until the rice is toasted, smells nutty and turns a light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Pour in the wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it is completely absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. 
  4. Ladle 1/2 cup of the warm stock into the rice and cook, stirring gently without stopping, until the rice has absorbed the liquid, 2 to 3 minutes (you will know it's time to add more stock when you move the rice aside and no liquid pools in the center). Repeat this process, adding more stock a ladleful at a time, until the rice is al dente, 15 to 17 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. 
  5. Stir in the baby spinach, Parmesan, half of the reserved pancetta, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a couple grinds of pepper. Stir until the spinach is wilted and everything is evenly combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Spoon into 2 dinner bowls and top with the remaining pancetta and a sprinkle of Parmesan.