My 15 year old daughter Veronica recently asked me to drive her to the mall. I explained to her that malls are dens of iniquity, places where Satan mingles with his friends, materialism and consumerism, in their unholy trinity. I was laughing, of course, but the fact is that for me a trip to the mall is worse than a trip to the hospital. In both cases, I need to be strapped to a gurney and driven by necessity. I would prefer an emergency appendectomy to the line at the “food court,” which is where the fires of hell burn hottest.
And so, instead of approaching the mall’s parking garage of dreadful darkness, I suggested that we make a delicious bowl of Risotto al Cavolini di Bruxelles e Pancetta. She succumbed to the temptation.
Good always triumphs over evil, and hence, another delicious Primo, and another soul saved.
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In a medium sauce pan, bring the water to a boil.
Rinse the Brussels sprouts under cold water. Remove the out leaves and stem, and cut into halves. Set to the side.
Boil the Brussels sprouts for for 2-3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove to a bowl to stop cooking.
Keep the remaining water warm over a low flame.
In a large skillet, over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add the pancetta and allow to get golden brown, but not crispy. Add the rice and stir together until opaque and lightly toasted. Add the wine and let evaporate, and then add a ladle of the warm water. Continue to cook and stir (preferably with a fork) until the liquid is almost fully absorbed. As the liquid absorbs, add more stock, a ladle at a time, waiting until almost completely absorbed before adding more. Add the Brussels sprouts with the last ladle of stock that is required. Cook until rice is al dente, about 10-15 minutes. (You may not need to use all of the stock, depending on how quickly it absorbs.)
Mix in the cheese. Remove the skillet from the heat. Serve immediately with some fresh black pepper.