Caramelized carrot rosemary pancetta risotto
After pulling off this risotto recipe, I'm confident that I'll be cooking risotto more often.
The recipe was mainly an inspiration to caramelize the carrots - I didn't purée any of them, or really follow the rest of the recipe. The flavour of the caramelized carrots really spread through the dish - rosemary was the other note that came through.
Make sure you caramelize the carrots - I had put in a bit too much butter & oil and the carrots sweated out some liquid, so I had to spoon some of it out to get the carrots to brown. Reserve that liquid and add it later, it was deliciously sweet & carrot-y.
The pancetta was very mild in flavour. The more pronounced smokiness of guanciale could have worked, but it would also have competed with the carrots. What was excellent from the pancetta was the fat, which added to the creamy consistency, as well as adding some nice toothsome texture.
I used Better Than Bouillon vegetable stock paste, which worked well (and in general is my favourite prepared stock base).
I briefly considered working in some of the other cheeses we had (eg a mild and creamy blue cheese) but was glad I stuck with 'just' a cup or so of grated Parmesan.