• 130g cubed pancetta or lardons
  • 1 large leek, finely sliced
  • 1 large medium red chilli, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely diced
  • 300g arborio risotto rice
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1lt vegetable stock
  • 150g raw scallops
  • 200g grated strong flavoured cheese (mature pecorino or parmesan will work)


  • STEP 1
    Dry fry the pancetta in a heavy based pan until slightly more crisp than you’d think is necessary (about 8-10 minutes). Don’t panic – they’ll soften as the risotto cooks. Take the pancetta out with a slotted spoon and set to one side.
  • STEP 2
    In the remaining oil (or, if you don’t want to use the animal fat, drain it and add 1 tbsp of olive oil), fry the leeks, garlic and chilli until soft (about three minutes). Add the rice and half a tablespoon more olive oil and stir to cover. Add half of the lemon zest, salt and pepper to season and the mixed herbs. Add all of the wine. Stir and let it simmer for two minutes.
  • STEP 3
    Slowly add the litre of vegetable stock while continuously stirring the risotto over the course of 30-40 minutes until the risotto is cooked. Patience is a real virtue here and to any risotto novices, remember to only add more stock once all of the liquid has been absorbed. Before adding the last portion of stock, add the pre-cooked pancetta, half of the grated cheese, all of the lemon juice and the remainder of the lemon rind. Mix once and leave on a very low heat while you cook the scallops.
  • STEP 4
    Add half a tablespoon of olive oil to another pan and heat. Add the scallops and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook them for about 1.5 minutes on each side at a fairly high heat so that they crisp and turn a golden brown.
  • STEP 5
    Serve the risotto in warm bowls topped with the scallops and the remaining cheese doled equally between all of the portions.

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