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Tuscan Cacciatore Risotto

Tuscan Cacciatore Risotto


  • One bottle dry red wine (750 ml)

  • 3 cups beef broth

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1/4 pound pancetta or bacon, chopped

  • 2 portobello mushroom caps, finely chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 pinches of crushed red pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice

  • 2 tablespoons finely fresh rosemary, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-size pieces

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (a couple of generous handfuls), plus more to pass around the table


In a medium saucepan, bring the wine and broth to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and keep warm.

In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 7-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate; set aside. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO, two turns of the pan, the mushrooms, onion, garlic and crushed red pepper to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice until coated with the EVOO and slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rosemary and tomato paste, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute.

Reduce the heat to medium and stir a ladle or two of the warm broth mixture into the risotto every few minutes until absorbed. After about 7 minutes, stir in the chicken along with some broth. Continue to add the broth gradually, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to make a creamy consistency, until the rice is al dente, about 22 minutes. Stir in the cheese and adjust the seasoning. Serve the risotto in shallow bowls topped with the reserved pancetta bits. Pass more cheese around the table.