This recipe is inspired by a dish chef O Tama Carey used to
serve when she was at Sydney's Berta.
The combination of rice, lentils and crisp onion is reminiscent of
Lebanon's mujaddara, but with a distinctly Italian twist.
80 gmsmall green lentils2 tbspolive oil70 gmbutter, diced1onion, finely chopped125 gmmild pancetta, diced2garlic cloves, finely chopped300 gmcarnaroli rice100 mldry white wine800 mlhot chicken stock50 gmfinely grated parmesan, plus extra to serveTo serve:coarsely chopped thymeCrisp onion1 tbspolive oil20 gmbutter, diced1onion, thinly sliced
Combine lentils and enough cold water to cover generously in a saucepan, bring to the boil, cook until half-cooked (6-8 minutes), then drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil and half the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, pancetta and garlic, season to taste and sauté until onion is tender and pancetta is crisp (5-6 minutes). Add rice and stir to coat and lightly toast (1-2 minutes). Add wine, stir until reduced by half, then add lentils and stir to combine. Add stock a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until stock is absorbed before adding more. Stir until rice is al dente and lentils are tender (15-20 minutes).
For crisp onion, heat oil and butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat until butter foams, add onion and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (6-7 minutes; remove from heat just before it reaches the colour you’re after because it will keep cooking), tip into a bowl and set aside.
Once cooked, remove risotto from heat and stir in parmesan and remaining butter. Season to taste and serve hot scattered with crisp onion, thyme and extra parmesan.