serves 2 - 3
1/2 pound podded fresh Fava Beans
salt and pepper
1/4 cup sweet butter
1 tsp olive oil
4 ounce pancetta, cut into small strips
1 onion, peeled and very finely chopped
about 1 3/4 pints vegetable stock
1/2 pound arborio or carnaroli rice
1/4 pint dry white wine
2 tbsp chopped flat-leafed parsley
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
1. Add the Fava Beans to a pan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for about 4 minutes until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water, then slip the beans out of their skins. Put to one side.
2. Melt half the butter with the olive oil in a large pan. Add the pancetta and cook until golden, then add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes or until softened and translucent, stirring from time to time. Meanwhile, bring the stock to a low simmer in another pan.
3. Add the rice to the onion and stir well to ensure all the grains are coated in butter. Pour in the wine and continue to stir over a low heat as it evaporates.
4. Start adding the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring as you go and waiting for the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. This will probably take about 20 minutes but begin tasting a few minutes before. The risotto should have a dense, creamy consistency but the individual grains of rice should be distinct and firm to the bite.
5. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the Fava Beans and remaining butter. Season with pepper and a little salt if needed, then stir in the chopped herbs. Serve straightaway, topped with plenty of Parmesan.