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    Scallop, pea & pancetta risotto

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    Scallop, pea & pancetta risotto

    by Diana Henry

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes
    • Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes

    Serves: 4


    20g butter
    77g pack unsmoked diced pancetta
    1 small onion, very finely chopped
    225g risotto rice
    125ml dry white vermouth
    1L chicken stock
    125g fresh or frozen peas
    12 scallops
    Olive oil, for frying
    ½ lemon, juice


    1. Put the butter in a saucepan with the pancetta and sauté until golden, cooked through and crispy. Scrape into a bowl, leaving the fat behind. Set aside and chill until needed.

    2. Add the onion to the same saucepan and gently sauté until soft. It can take as long as 10-12 minutes to do this. Add the risotto rice and stir it round in the fat. Add the vermouth and let it bubble away to almost nothing, stirring all the time.

    3. Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to a simmer and keep it on a low heat. Add the stock a ladleful at a time, continuing to stir. Only add the next ladle of stock when the previous one has been absorbed. It should take 20-25 minutes for the risotto to cook – it should be soft and almost soupy for this risotto, with a little firmness in the centre of each grain. When you feel the risotto is almost ready, stir in the peas and reserved pancetta and let the peas cook.

    4. Dry the scallops and remove the tiny muscle (it’s white) from each one. If they’re big, cut them in half horizontally. Heat a thin film of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry them for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden, cooked through and opaque. Season, and add a squeeze of lemon. Serve the risotto in four bowls and divide the scallops between them. I don’t serve Parmesan with this risotto.  

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