This is a nice way to use parsnips other than roasting or mashing them. So if you like root vegetables, you’ll probably love this hearty recipe! I mean…parsnips, pancetta, sage, loads of parmesan…what’s not to love?
Parsnip Risotto with Pancetta
recipe adapted from Fine Cooking
- 1 1/2 lbs. parsnips
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 oz. pancetta, diced
- 3 Tbsp. chopped sage
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, small dice
- 2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice
- 4-6 cups chicken broth, warmed
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano + more for serving
Prepare the parsnips first, even before you start your mise en place. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Trim the ends, then peel the parsnips and cut them into quarters lengthwise. Hold a sharp knife parallel to the cutting board and slowly run the knife between the core and the tender outer part of the parsnip. Remove as much of the core as possible without removing the tender part with it. Discard the core of each parsnip. Cut the tender parts into medium dice.
Heat 2 Tbsp. of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the parsnips, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the sage and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and pour this mixture onto the same baking sheet that you had the parsnips cooling on. Set aside.
Return the pan to medium heat and add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of oil. Add the onions to the pan with a little salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir well to coat. Add the wine and stir until liquid has been absorbed. Add the broth a cup at a time, stirring constantly, letting each addition be almost absorbed before adding the next. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente, so the amount of broth to use will be dependent on the rice.
Once the rice is done, fold the parsnip mixture into the risotto. Add the butter and the cup of Parmigiano and stir gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with more Parmigiano.