A playful transformation of a breakfast classic into a hearty, delicious, and satisfying dinner. Pancetta infuses the entire risotto dish, which is then topped with a runny fried egg. Thick-cut bacon could be substituted for pancetta.
The dish is simple and comes together in about 30 minutes, using only two pans. Topping it off with a still-runny egg yolk is the genius step behind this recipe's success. —Meg Salvia
Test Kitchen Notes
This dish is a great example of how almost everything is better with a fried egg on top. The pancetta risotto is a simple recipe done well and comes together quickly. The thoughtful addition of an egg adds the perfect rich runny yolk to complete the meal.I found that I needed slightly more than 4 cups of liquid to get the perfect al dente risotto. —Stephanie Bourgeois
Bring broth and 1 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Keep it warm throughout the cooking process and gradually add more water if you need more liquid.
On a cutting board, chop the pancetta into roughly 1/2 to 1-inch pieces. Add the chopped pancetta to a 12-inch skillet, turn the flame to medium heat and cook it until it crisps, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain.
Add another 1 tablespoon of butter to the rendered pancetta fat already in the pan, then add in the chopped onion. Cook until the onion softens, about 4 minutes, stirring often.
Add the arborio rice to the skillet and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the edges of the rice grains start to become translucent, but the center remains white. Add the white wine and cook until the rice absorbs the liquid, about another 2 minutes.
Once the rice absorbs the wine, add more liquid to the skillet by spooning in the warmed broth in 1/2-cup increments. Stir each addition into the rice until it is fully absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup (about 3-5 minutes between each addition). Stir frequently and repeat these additions until the rice is tender and al dente and the sauce develops a creamy texture. This usually takes about 30 minutes and 3-4 cups of liquid. Stir in the cooked bacon and grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
In another frying pan, heat a small amount of butter over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs into the pan and cook until the whites have fully set but the egg yolks are still a bit runny, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Flip the eggs over if you prefer over-easy rather than sunny-side-up eggs. Because the egg yolk serves as a sauce for the risotto, be sure not to overcook the egg yolks.
Plate four servings of risotto into bowls and top each with a fried egg. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.