Pasta Risotto with Peas and Pancetta
2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
6 oz (170 g) cubed pancetta
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) frozen peas
250 g orzo pasta
2½ cups (625 mL) boiling water
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon (15 mL) soft butter
2 tablespoons (30 mL) grated Parmesan
Warm the oil in a heavy-based pan that will take everything later; a casserole or saucepan of 22cm diameter should be plenty big enough.
Cook the pancetta, stirring, until it becomes crisp and bronzed, then add the peas and stir for a minute or so until the frozen look leaves them.
Add the pasta and turn it about in the pancetta and peas then pour in the boiling water; I use cup measures – 2 1⁄2 cups – for ease. Add salt (cautiously, especially if this is for children – the pancetta is salty, as is the Parmesan later); then turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, though check on it a couple of times and give a stir or two, to stop it from sticking and to see if you need to add a little more water from the kettle.
When it’s ready, the pasta should be so and starchy and the water absorbed. Beat the butter and parmesan into the pan, check the seasoning and serve immediately into warm waiting bowls.