Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


with Sweet Potato and Pancetta

Serves 6



Prepare in advance:
1 cup roasted sweet potato purée (You can use mashed canned yams, but the roasted purée has a really fabulous flavor).

1/2 cup pancetta, chopped
   (you can substitute regular bacon for a different taste)
5 cloves garlic, chopped (or 1 tbsp jar chopped garlic)
1 onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups simmering chicken stock
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped sage



In large saucepan heat pancetta on medium-high heat. Cook until pancetta gets well browned and crisp. Remove all but 3 tbsp fat from pan. Add garlic and onion, and sauté until translucent, with no color. Add rice, sauté 3 minutes more. Add wine, stirring constantly until absorbed. Add 1/2 cup stock, allowing to absorb before next addition of stock is added.

After fourth addition of stock is added, begin tasting rice. Rice should be al dente when done. You need to keep tasting rice, because, depending on rice, you may or may not have to use all of the stock.

When last addition of stock is just about absorbed, stir in sweet potato purée and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, add butter, grated Romano, parsley, sage and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


Roasted Sweet Potato purée

Yields 1 to 1-1/4 cups purée, depending on size of potatoes.

For 1 cup purée, I use 2 large sweet potatoes. You might have a little more than 1 cup and you can add it to the risotto with no problems.

Bake the sweet potatoes until very soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool enough for you to handle them. Scoop out all the flesh from the potatoes and add to the food processor. Add 1 tbsp butter, and season with salt and pepper. Process until purée is very smooth. It is now ready to add to the risotto, or it makes a fabulous side dish by itself.


Pasta Risotto and You


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This page created October 2000