Sweet Corn Risotto with Crispy Sage, Pancetta (or Hazelnuts) and Burrata
Risotto is a labor of love but, to be honest, it’s really not that labor intensive. All you have to do is follow this recipe and, more importantly, follow your instincts to achieve that perfect starchy consistency and layers of intense flavor. I have 3 other risotto recipes that are *delicious,* but this one really takes the cake. If you’re wondering what the other three are: creamy leek risotto, creamy basil risotto with shrimp and tomatoes, and artichoke kale risotto.
But this one is my favorite because it combines all of my favorite things: pancetta (you can swap for bacon,) burrata, corn and rice. Word on the street is that this risotto is the risotto for spring 2022. Jk, I made that up, but after you make it and tell all of your friends, that will be the word on the street! You’re going to wow everyone with this recipe!
If you’re vegetarian, I have a wonderful swap for you! Skip the pancetta and add toasted hazelnuts on top of this delicious recipe. You will not be disappointed!
Before we get to the recipe, let’s also take a moment to imagine the arancini you can make with these leftovers…….
As per usual, I posted a little how-to on my Instagram and Tik Tok channels.
|1 large bunch of sage|
|4oz. diced pancetta|
|1 medium white or sweet onion|
|1 1/2cups fresh sweet corn kernels|
|Diamond kosher salt|
|1tbsp unsalted butter|
|1 1/2cups Arborio rice|
|1/2cup dry white wine|
|5cups unsalted or low sodium vegetable or chicken stock|
|Juice of 1 lemon|
|1/2cup grated Parmesan|
|1/2cup grated Pecorino|
|1/8tsp ground nutmeg|
|Fresh cracked black pepper|
|Stock pot or Dutch oven|
Separate the sage leaves from the stems. Leave 12 leaves for topping (3 for each plate.) Finely chop the rest of it.
Place a large pot over medium high heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the fat is rendered and the meat is crispy. Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon. Adjust the heat to medium. If using hazelnuts, go onto the next step and season the pan with 3 tbsp of unsalted butter.
Add the onion along with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until fragrant and softened. If the pan is drying up, add the 1 tbsp of butter. Add the sweet corn, a few chopped sage leaves and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes until the sage is fragrant.
Add the rice. Stir into the corn mixture, then toast for 2 minutes until it is well coated in the pancetta fat/butter.
Pour in the wine and stir until it has almost evaporated.
Add the stock one ladleful at a time, stirring until each amount has absorbed before adding another. This should take between 15 and 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
Meanwhile, on a separate burner, pour olive oil in a small deep skillet. Heat on high. Once the oil is shimmering, add the reserved whole sage leaves and cook until crispy - not even 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon. Reserve the sage infused oil for topping!
Once all of the stock has been absorbed, the rice should be cooked through but still have a little ‘bite’ to it - think al dente pasta. Add the juice of one lemon and stir until combined. At this point, turn the heat off. Add the grated cheese and nutmeg and stir well. Taste to ensure the salt levels are to your liking. Feel free to add more nutmeg if you want a little more of that spiced depth of flavor. Cover with a lid. Let it rest for 5 mins.