Risotto With Chard and Pancetta

Risotto With Chard and Pancetta

This satiny risotto uses an entire bunch of chard, both stems and leaves, which gives texture and color to the tender grains of rice. Pancetta, crisped up in the pan, adds a savory, brawny crunch that contrasts with the sweetness of the shallots or onion. Red chard turns the rice a subtle shade of pink, but Swiss or rainbow chard will work equally well. And don’t neglect that squeeze of fresh lemon juice right at the end; it brightens everything up.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Combine pancetta and oil in a large skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook until fat has rendered and the pancetta is golden brown and crisp, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Step 2

    Add butter to the skillet and let melt over medium heat. Stir in shallot and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chard stems and garlic, and cook until fragrant and golden, 2 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    Stir in rice and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook until rice is opaque and smells slightly toasted, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Stir in wine and cook until it’s absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add stock, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked through but still has a slight bite, 20 to 27 minutes.
  5. Step 5

    Add lemon zest and stir until well distributed. Stir in chard leaves and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes longer. If the risotto is too thick, stir in a little water or some more broth (do this until the level of creaminess pleases you; perfect risotto texture is subjective). Stir in Parmesan, then taste and add more salt, if needed.
  6. Step 6

    Spoon immediately into individual bowls. Sprinkle pancetta on top and finish with more Parmesan and black pepper, if you’d like. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing.