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Friday, December 5, 2008

Summer on a Plate - Risoni with Pancetta, Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs

Risoni came to my attention about a year ago after we had driven the 160km journey home from our weekly shopping trip! Packing my groceries away I discovered I had bought the wrong box of pasta. I shall be eternally grateful for my mistake however otherwise the following recipe would not have been born.

Mint stars here giving the dish a particularly fresh taste and an overwhelming feeling that summer has well and truly arrived!

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes


4L chicken stock or water
400g Risoni
1-tablespoon grape seed oil
20g butter
1 small onion (about half cup)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
100g pancetta, chopped
250g cherry or baby roma tomatoes, whole
375g peas, fresh or frozen
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Basil, purple or green, leaves only
Mint, leaves only,
Italian parsley, leaves only
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan, grated


Wash fresh herbs and spin dry. Put water or stock on to boil and cook risoni 7 minutes to al dente - strain and set aside. Cook fresh peas until tender in boiling salted water, strain and set aside.

Heat a large frying pan on medium heat, add butter and oil and cook onion and garlic until translucent. Add pancetta to the pan and heat through. Add cooked peas, cooked risoni, the lemon zest and juice. Mix gently making sure everything is well coated with oil. Add salt and pepper and turn off the heat.

Just before serving add all the herbs to the pan and thoroughly mix them through. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

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