Risotto Zucchine e Guanciale

(serves 4 | 40 minutes | medium)

Risotto with courgettes is one of my favorite dishes, I however find the classic version – aka adding courgettes to the risotto – a bit too boring. So I add a little guanciale to the courgette soffritto and use half of them to make a little crema, which gives the risotto extra creaminess and flavour throughout. 

2 large courgettes – 280g carnaroli rice – 2 slices of guanciale – grated parmigiano, to taste – grated pecorino, to taste – dry white wine – 1L broth (veg or classic, up to you) – extra virgin olive oil – black pepper 

  1. Slice the courgettes into thin slices, cutting them first in half, lengthwise, if they are particularly large. Pour a few lugs of olive oil in a large, non-stick pan, turn the heat onto medium. 
  2. Slice the guanciale into ½ a cm slivers, place them in the pan with the olive oil and let them sizzle for a few minutes. Once the fat has begun melting, throw in the sliced courgettes. Sautee for a few minutes, then cover with a lid and cook until softened (around 10 minutes). 
  3. In the meantime, bring the broth to boil, then lower the flame and cover. 
  4. Pour the rice into a non-stick, deep skillet, turn the flame on to medium. Stir the rice for a few minutes until it toasts – you will know it is full toasted when it is too hot to hold between your thumb and index. Pour in enough white wine to just cover the rice, let it deglaze. Once it has almost completely evaporated, begin pouring in the hot broth, two ladles at the time. 
  5. Repeat the process of pouring in broth, mixing and letting it evaporate slightly before adding more until the rice is al dente
  6. In the meantime, work on the courgette “cream”. Once they have softened, separate half of the courgettes from the rest and the guanciale and place them in a blender. Add the grated pecorino to taste and blend. If needed, adjust with some more pecorino and black pepper. 
  7. Once your risotto is al dente, pour in the courgette cream and the sauteed courgettes and guanciale. Mix well to incorporate everything then turn off the heat. Pour in a few handfuls of parmigiano and mix vigorously to mantecare the risotto. Once combined, let it sit for a few minutes, to allow the juices settle. 
  8. Serve and enjoy!