Risotto with Fennel and Pancetta

Risotto with Pancetta and Fennel
Maryse Chevriere


  • 5-7 thin slices of pancetta, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

One the best chef cooking tips I've ever picked up? Add a touch of mascarpone to risotto — it gives the dish that extra bit of smooth, silky richness you didn't even know was missing. This recipe is a true favorite, combining salt from the pancetta with the slight sweetness of the cooked fennel.

Click here to see Recipe SWAT Team: One-Pot Meals.

Click here to see The 1-Pot Meal Roundup.


In a large pot, cook the diced pancetta over medium-low heat until crispy (you might even want to border on crunchy so that it retains a nice textures), about 6 minutes. Next, add the sliced fennel and olive oil and cook for about 4 minutes until it starts to soften. Then add the rice, stirring for about 1-2 minutes, coating it with the oil.

There is a misconception about risotto I would like to clear up: It does not need to be stirred constantly. Frequently, and with a watchful eye, yes. That said, add about a third to a half cup of chicken broth to the rice, stirring every so often to make sure the rice isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, add another portion of chicken broth, and stir. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked (when it's closer to al dente than soft.)

Add in the cheeses and mix until fully incorporated. Season with salt and black pepper as desired (careful with the salt though, there's a decent amount there naturally from the pancetta and cheese). Serve in a bowl or plate and garnish with a light sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


Calories per serving:

640 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 156g 241%
  • Carbs 202g 67%
  • Saturated 50g 249%
  • Fiber 12g 50%
  • Sugars 17g
  • Protein 81g 163%
  • Cholesterol 217mg 72%
  • Sodium 3,945mg 164%
  • Calcium 857mg 86%
  • Magnesium 169mg 42%
  • Potassium 2,572mg 73%
  • Iron 13mg 73%
  • Zinc 8mg 51%
  • Phosphorus 1,303mg 186%
  • Vitamin A 1,237IU 25%
  • Vitamin C 30mg 50%
  • Thiamin (B1) 2mg 124%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 78%
  • Niacin (B3) 31mg 156%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 71%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 551µg 138%
  • Vitamin B12 2µg 33%
  • Vitamin D 3µg 1%
  • Vitamin E 7mg 34%
  • Vitamin K 28µg 35%
  • Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 77g
  • Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 16g
See detailed nutritional info Have a question about nutritional data? Let us know.

Bring your favorite dish to our table

Join the Daily Meal's Community and Share your Thoughts

The Daily Meal Editors and Community Say...