Risotto and Cranberry Beans with Pancetta

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Risotto with Cranberry Beans

Yesterday I promised you my first recipe with my oh-so-beautiful Rancho Gordo beans.  With my shipment of beans, they included Heirloom Beans: Great Recipes for Dips and Spreads, Soups and Stews, Salads and Salsas, and Much More from Rancho Gordo.  After pouring through the recipes I settled on Risotto and Cranberry Beans with Pancetta.

Prep at Sidewalk Shoes

The first thing I discovered when making this recipe was that my sweet little grocery store, Greenlife Grocery, which later was bought and became a Whole Foods had gotten rid of their deli meat counter.  I loved that counter.  Pancetta, prosciutto, chorizo, it was all there.  But now, no more.  So instead I had to go to the packaged meats section, where there was no pancetta.  Now, I know that you can sub bacon or ham for prosciutto or pancetta, but I can never remember which is which.  So, I got Coppa.  I have no idea what it was, other than it ended in an “a’” and pancetta ended in an “a” – yes that is how I make substitutions.  Whatever.  It was good.  This whole recipe was wonderful!

Risotto and Cranberry Beans with Pancetta

  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta (or whatever “a” meat you can find), diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups drained cooked cranberry beans, with reserved broth
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the broth to a simmer.

In a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil.  Add the pancetta and the onion and saute for about 10 minutes, or until golden.  Add the celery and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the rice and stir to coat.  Increase the heat to medium-high, add the wine, and stir until most of the wine has been absorbed.  Add the broth, 1/2 cup at time, stirring.  As each addition is absorbed, add another.

Total cooking time is about 40 minutes.  The rice should be creamy with a bit of bite in the middle, but not chalky.  If you need extra broth, dilute it with a bit of water.

When the rice is just short of being done, and there are only about 1 or two additions of broth left, add the beans and 1/2 cup of their broth, and stir until warmed through.  When the rice is done, turn off the heat and stir in the parsley and parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6



This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!

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  1. says

    Wait so WHOLE FOODS didn’t have PANCETTA? That’s weird. I know mine definitely had it, but it’s in a weird section. Not where you’d expect it to be.

    Either way, I think you substituted well! What a great way to kick off your year of beans!

  2. says

    What a fabulous recipe. This sounds delicious and it is a dish I know my family would enjoy. I can’t wait to give all these flavors a try. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  3. says

    That does sound tasty but surprised about Whole Foods. They will have a problem with that approach here since Fresh Market already entrenched, has a full service counter.

    LMAO over your substitution theory, excellent!

  4. says

    coincidence? I have a batch of cranberry beans (which I almost never buy) soaking on my stove right now. I was planning on making a batch of chicken chili with part of them and now I know what to do with the rest. I’ve never had beans in risotto before, but since I’ve been adding beans to almost everything lately, I’m anxious to try this!

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