This creamy and delicious pancetta and mushroom risotto is traditional Italian food at its best. Simple ingredients and gentle cooking yield the most delicious creamy risotto that tastes expensive but is easy to make.
My family loves risotto! We call it the alternative pasta since we eat so much of that. Risotto is very versatile in its uses and it is great with so many ingredients. You can even use it to make sweet dishes like rice pudding.
One of our favorite risotto recipes is this pancetta risotto with mushrooms. The flavors are amazing and the risotto comes out so creamy. It really is like a restaurant-quality meal at home.
I will show you the simple steps you need to follow to make the perfect creamy risotto at home so you can make this special meal for your family or friends.
What you will need
A quick breakdown of what you will need to make this pancetta risotto. The full recipe is below:
- Arborio rice. This is a short-grain Italian rice that you can find in the International section of your grocery store.
- Pancetta. This is Italian bacon. If you cannot find this, go ahead and use regular bacon.
- Shiitake mushrooms. I like this variety of mushrooms but you can use porcini, baby bella mushrooms, or your favorite variety. I also like to buy dried mushrooms in a bag and rehydrate them.
- Chicken stock. I love the flavor of chicken stock in my risotto but you can use vegetable stock as well.
- Parmesan. This is added at the end and gives flavor and adds creaminess to the risotto.
- Italian Parsley.
- White wine. Find one that you enjoy drinking.
- Kosher salt.
- Olive oil.
How to make pancetta risotto with mushrooms
Making this pancetta risotto with mushrooms (or any risotto) is simple if you follow two steps.
- Have 2 pots that you work with, one for the risotto and the second pot for keeping the broth that is added to the risotto nice and hot.
- Ladle the hot liquids into the pot with the arborio rice one ladle at a time. When the rice is dry you add more liquid. Just keep repeating this until the risotto is creamy and the rice still has some chew.
Here is what it looks like:
- Cook pancetta, mushrooms and shallot: You want to start by sauteeing the pancetta, mushrooms and shallot in a medium saucepan then remove to a plate for later.
- Add Arborio rice: To the same saucepan add the arborio rice and a little butter and coat it well.
- Add white wine: Now add the white wine and reduce down until the rice fully absorbs the wine.
- Ladle hot liquids into the pot with arborio rice: This is where you have those two pots side by side. One with the hot liquids and the other pot with the arborio rice.
- Cook until creamy and the arborio rice is still al dente: When cooking a risotto, the arborio rice is very starchy so with stirring it releases those starches and makes a creamy texture. You know when the risotto is done cooking when it is creamy and the rice still has some chew to it. So keep testing throughout the cooking process until you taste this. If you have extra liquid remaining, that is ok.
Variations and Substitutions
This is one of our favorite risotto recipes just the way it is. You can also vary the recipe to your taste or based on what you have on hand.
- Leave out the mushrooms: Make this with just pancetta if you don't have mushrooms on hand.
- Use bacon: If you do not have pancetta use regular bacon.
- Add veggies: Any vegetable addition works great in risotto.
Italians are all about improvising and using what they have on hand. Make this your own and to your taste.
More Italian Recipes
If you love this pancetta risotto with mushrooms, you may also like these other recipes:
Pancetta Risotto With Mushrooms
- 5 cups Chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup Shiitake mushrooms cut thinly
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup White wine
- 4 ounces Pancetta diced
- 1 shallot finely diced
- 3 tablespoon Italian parsley finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- In a medium saucepan, add the chicken stock and heat over medium- medium high heat.5 cups Chicken stock
- In another medium saucepan over medium heat add olive oil, pancetta, mushrooms and shallot and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, 4 ounces Pancetta, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 shallot
- Remove from the pot and set aside for later.
- In the same pot over medium heat, add butter and melt.1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Add arborio rice and coat well.1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- Add white wine and reduce down completely.¼ cup White wine
- Add the pancetta and mushrooms to the rice and mix well.
- Now ladle in chicken stock and salt then stir the rice and simmer until the stock is almost gone.1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Once the stock is almost all absorbed, ladle in more chicken stock, then stir and simmer again.
- Continue to do this until the risotto is creamy and has some chew still.
- Once the risotto is cooked, add the parmesan and parsley mix well.½ cup Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoon Italian parsley
- Serve immediately and enjoy.