I can never get too much risotto. This rich and beefy risotto, adapted from Maxine Clark’s Risotto, is substantial enough to be a meal unto itself. Ragu sauce is traditionally served atop a bowl of pasta but it is just as good, if not better, when served with creamy risotto rice. The ingredients are really pantry staples and if you have ragu sauce on hand***, this risotto makes for a quick and easy dinner.
If you aren’t a fan of veal you can substitute ground beef, pork, turkey, or chicken or use any combination of the meat. (To make this into a vegetarian dish you could omit the pancetta and use and equal amount of tofu crumbles).
*** I like to make a large batch of ragu sauce and store it in the freezer for up to three months. To use, simply defrost the ragu in the refrigerator overnight then bring to a simmer before adding the rice. Its that easy.
6 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces ground veal
1/4 pancetta, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, shredded
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
1- 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 quarts low sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups risotto rice
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
- Add the ground veal, pancetta, onions, carrot, and celery to the pot. Stir gently and cook until the meat is no longer pink but is not browned.
- Raise the heat to medium-high and add the wine. Boil until the wine has evaporated.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste,2 cups of the beef broth and the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.
- Reduce the heat to low, partially cover and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The sauce will be thick and rich.
- In a large saucepan, bring the remaining broth to a simmer.
- Add the rice to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Raise the temperature to medium-high.
- Add a ladle of broth to the rice and stir to combine. Stirring occasionally, cook until most of the broth has evaporated. Continue adding broth, stirring, and cooking until all of the broth has been added or until the rice is al dente and cooked to your liking.
- Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf.
- Stir in the cheese and the butter. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes then serve.