Pancetta Risotto Cakes

Do you remember a few months ago when I posted that a recipe I created won a contest and the prize was a trip to San Francisco?

Pancetta Risotto Cakes

At the time I was not able to share the recipe due to the ‘super-secret’ nature of the contest.  Well, the contest is over and I am free to share, and share I shall.  These are my Pancetta Risotto Cakes and they are among my favorite appetizers to prepare, and consume.  They are hearty enough to be a main meal (or so the folks at Bertolli told me) but I prefer them piled on a platter as finger food!  I mean, who doesn’t love deep fried carbs?  Anyone??

Pancetta Risotto Cakes

They are really easy to make, and you can make them as far as two days ahead to the point of chilling the risotto.  They fry up in no time and are crunchy on the outside while remaining creamy on the inside.  They are, in short, perfect!

Pancetta Risotto Cakes with Vodka Dipping Sauce           Yield 20 -25 cakes

29 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
¼ cup dry white wine
5 ounces chopped pancetta
1 clove garlic, minced fine
2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, divided
4 egg whites, divided
1 tablespoon water
1 cup Bertolli Vodka Sauce
1 tablespoon fresh basil, torn into small pieces
Bertolli Light Olive Oil, enough to fill pan ½”

In a medium pot, with a lid, heat the chicken stock over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low and cover.

Pancetta Risotto Cakes Pancetta Risotto Cakes

In a medium sized skillet over medium heat cook the pancetta until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crisp, about five minutes.  Remove the pancetta from the pan and set aside.  Reserve the fat.

Pancetta Risotto Cakes Pancetta Risotto Cakes Pancetta Risotto Cakes

Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about thirty to forty-five seconds.  Add the rice and stir until the rice is coated in the fat, about one minute.  Add the wine and stir until absorbed.

Pancetta Risotto Cakes Pancetta Risotto Cakes

Begin adding the warm broth, ½ cup at a time.  Stir after each addition and add more broth as the rice absorbs the previous addition, about twenty minutes.

Pancetta Risotto Cakes Pancetta Risotto Cakes

Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly before you add the cooked pancetta, parsley, cheese, red pepper, salt and pepper, ¼ cup of the panko and one egg white.  Mix well then spread the risotto onto a large sheet pan to cool completely.

Pancetta Risotto CakesPancetta Risotto Cakes Pancetta Risotto Cakes

Prepare two shallow dishes, one with the remaining panko and the other with the remaining egg whites mixed with the water.  Using a disher, or a tablespoon, scoop the risotto mixture into 1” balls.  Flatten gently with your palm, but don’t press them too thin, then dip first in the egg whites and then into the panko.

Pancetta Risotto Cakes Pancetta Risotto Cakes Pancetta Risotto Cakes

In a heavy skillet heat ½” of oil over medium high heat until it shimmers.  Carefully add the risotto cakes, leaving 1” of space between them as they cook.  You will have to cook them in batches.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown.  Once cooked, drain the cakes on paper towels.  You can keep them in a warm (250F) oven if you need to hold them.

While the cakes drain heat the vodka sauce and basil in small saucepan over medium heat until it simmers.

Pancetta Risotto Cakes

Serve the cakes with the sauce.

Pancetta Risotto Cakes

© 2009 – 2014, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

Share This Post On
  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Pancetta Risotto Cakes | Evil Shenanigans - Baking & Cooking Blog -- Topsy.com()

  • These look fantastic! I tend to gravitate towards appetizers like this. These are a winner in my book too!

  • those look great!

  • This looks sooo good!

  • Oh my, these are totally winner’s quality eating! Sounds so good. Wonderfully creative idea.

  • No question why you won – these look awesome!

  • Fantastic!!! I’ve been wanting to try and make risotto for quite some time now. These look too good not to share with us. ;-D

  • i love crab cakes and this looks like a fantastic recipe!

  • Kelly, these just look spectacular. YUM!!

  • Natalie

    I think I just died and went to heaven! I’ve been on a risotto kick for quite some time now. Can’t wait to try these!

  • I was just looking for this recipe on your blog the other day! I couldn’t find it, so I had to “wing it” and come up with my own! I used prosciutto pieces: http://lindsaymeyer.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/champagne-and-shallot-risotto-balls/

  • lk

    yum! and lol @ “or so the people at Bertolli say.” You’re were totally an appetizer. Not that it really mattered, but they should have switched mine to a main course instead of yours. This is one of my favorite ways to use leftover risotto, and they look great!

  • Esi

    I wish I had gotten to sample one of these at Foodbuzz! At least I have the recipe now so I can recreate them at home 🙂

  • yum yum yum! I love risotto cakes.

  • OH MY GOD!! I am starving jsut looking at this!!!!! It looks fantastic and I am going to attempt. Fantastic strikingly drool-worthy photos by the way!

  • Congrats on winning the contest. Your recipe looks yummy!


  • Wow. I’m drooling over here… I love this kind of food… I am saving the recipe. Thank you.

  • Drool! These are amazing!

  • They’re so gorgeous and mouthwatering. Yum.

  • Great combination of flavor and wonderful pictures!

  • SO good! must try this one out 🙂

  • Mmmm! Hungry! These look wonderfully gooood.

  • mmmmmm…. my mouth is watering and my tummy is growling. Can’t wait to try tem . Congrats on winning a trip with the recipe!!!

  • congratulations!!!
    I’m crove for…

  • Congrats on the Top 9 today! I love your photos – they make me wish I could reach into the screen and take a bite.

  • Looks terrific. The vodka sauce is a great selection… just the right flavor and texture for your “deep-fried carbs” 🙂

  • Pingback: Pancetta Risotto Cakes with Vodka Dipping Sauce – Evil Shenanigans | Happy Happy Joy Joy()

  • I cannot wait to try this recipe! Nothing better then combining risotto with pancetta and then deep frying it…Yum….

  • Made these at the CIA once, but your recipe with the pancetta and vodka sauce is better. I prefer these to arancini any day.

  • Sounds great – we’ll definitely be making these!!!

  • hello pancetta risotto cakes, I love you.

  • Wow, these look amazing. I love rice balls, I usually just add cheese to the middle….but adding pancetta, I will most defintley try that next!

  • These look amazing Kelly! I will most definitely be trying these out soon. And I agree that they’re fun finger food!

  • Pingback: Columbus Foodie » Blog Archive » December 2009 Roundup()

  • Oh my goodness…these look amazing!!!

    Here’s my latest take on how to use up leftover risotto.

    Crab Risotto Cakes with Spicy Remoulade

    They are elegant, delicious, easy, and the perfect use for the giant pot of risotto I always seem to have left after we’ve eaten it for a few days.

    Recipe here: {REMOVED}
    Let me know what you think!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This