Panissa alla Vercellese

A classic nose to tail Piedmontese risotto. Harry and I cooked this in preparation for our Piedmont wine evening at the bar, and I thought it was absolutely delicious. Unctuously moreish would be an understatement with lardo, pork rind and bone broth all adding to the ‘cucina rustica’ party.

Yields4 Servings
For the risotto
 400 g risotto rice, ideally carnaroli rice
 ½ onion
 1 small BFS Good Ordinary or Fennel Salami - skinned and finely chopped
 175 ml red wine, preferably Barbera
 80 g pork fat or lardo
 1 dash olive oil
 1 l BFS bone broth
 1 knob of butter, refrigerated
 2 tbsp Grana Padano, grated
 pinch of salt and pepper
For the beans
 300 g borlotti beans, dried
 2 carrots, chopped
 2 celery sticks, chopped
 1 onion, chopped
 150 g pork rind
1

If you are using dried beans, leave them to soak in cold water overnight. To cook the beans, fill a large saucepan with water, add the carrot, celery, onion and pork rind and bring to the boil.

2

Add the beans and reduce the heat. Simmer for 1–1½ hours until al dente – they will be cooked more in the rice later so don’t overcook them at this stage. Strain the beans and set aside, reserve the cooking broth in a pan set over a very low heat.

3

Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Add the chopped onion and cook gently until soft and translucent, you want to avoid letting the onion colour. Add the lardo or pork fat and allow it to melt into the onion before adding the chopped salami. Cook everything for a few minutes, stirring to bring it all together.

4

Add the rice and a pinch of pepper. Toast the rice over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes, making sure to stir constantly to prevent the rice from burning. At this stage, season with a small amount of salt, but bear in mind the salami and pork fat are already quite salty
Add the tomato paste, stirring so that it coats the rice and caramelises. Cook for 2–3 minutes to cook.

5

Add the wine, stirring continuously and allowing the alcohol to evaporate. Add the bone broth to the bean broth and reheat to simmering point. Add just enough to cover the rice in the pan, stirring continuously to prevent sticking and to build up the starch in the dish. As soon as the rice begins to dry out, add more liquid, stirring constantly.

6

After about 10 minutes, heat up the reserved beans. Remove a ladle of the beans from the pan and blitz to a smooth cream. Add the creamed beans and the whole beans into the rice
Repeat the process of adding in the stock for 15–18 minutes until the risotto is creamy and the rice is al dente. Salt the risotto at the end of cooking.

7

Remove the pan from the heat, making sure there’s a fairly even ratio of solids and liquids, if needed add a little more stock. Cover the pan with a tea towel and leave to rest for a few minutes
Add in the chilled butter, stirring together. Add the cheese and mix well.

Ingredients

For the risotto
 400 g risotto rice, ideally carnaroli rice
 ½ onion
 1 small BFS Good Ordinary or Fennel Salami - skinned and finely chopped
 175 ml red wine, preferably Barbera
 80 g pork fat or lardo
 1 dash olive oil
 1 l BFS bone broth
 1 knob of butter, refrigerated
 2 tbsp Grana Padano, grated
 pinch of salt and pepper
For the beans
 300 g borlotti beans, dried
 2 carrots, chopped
 2 celery sticks, chopped
 1 onion, chopped
 150 g pork rind

Directions

1

If you are using dried beans, leave them to soak in cold water overnight. To cook the beans, fill a large saucepan with water, add the carrot, celery, onion and pork rind and bring to the boil.

2

Add the beans and reduce the heat. Simmer for 1–1½ hours until al dente – they will be cooked more in the rice later so don’t overcook them at this stage. Strain the beans and set aside, reserve the cooking broth in a pan set over a very low heat.

3

Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Add the chopped onion and cook gently until soft and translucent, you want to avoid letting the onion colour. Add the lardo or pork fat and allow it to melt into the onion before adding the chopped salami. Cook everything for a few minutes, stirring to bring it all together.

4

Add the rice and a pinch of pepper. Toast the rice over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes, making sure to stir constantly to prevent the rice from burning. At this stage, season with a small amount of salt, but bear in mind the salami and pork fat are already quite salty
Add the tomato paste, stirring so that it coats the rice and caramelises. Cook for 2–3 minutes to cook.

5

Add the wine, stirring continuously and allowing the alcohol to evaporate. Add the bone broth to the bean broth and reheat to simmering point. Add just enough to cover the rice in the pan, stirring continuously to prevent sticking and to build up the starch in the dish. As soon as the rice begins to dry out, add more liquid, stirring constantly.

6

After about 10 minutes, heat up the reserved beans. Remove a ladle of the beans from the pan and blitz to a smooth cream. Add the creamed beans and the whole beans into the rice
Repeat the process of adding in the stock for 15–18 minutes until the risotto is creamy and the rice is al dente. Salt the risotto at the end of cooking.

7

Remove the pan from the heat, making sure there’s a fairly even ratio of solids and liquids, if needed add a little more stock. Cover the pan with a tea towel and leave to rest for a few minutes
Add in the chilled butter, stirring together. Add the cheese and mix well.

Panissa alla Vercellese
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