Savoy Cabbage, Pancetta, and Red Onion Risotto

Savoy Cabbage, Pancetta, and Red Onion Risotto


  • 4 ounces thick-sliced pancetta or smoked bacon, cut into matchstick strips
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and sliced
  • 1 small head Savoy cabbage, quartered, cored, and very thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 red onion
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • ½ cup white wine or vermouth
  • 1½ cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, or Grana Padano
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into small chucks


  • Cook the pancetta in 1tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the fat begins to render.
  • Add the garlic and sauté about 1 minute, until soft and just golden. Stir in the cabbage and cover the pan.
  • Steam for 5 minutes, then season lightly with salt and generously with pepper. Remove from the heat.
  • Warm the remaining 1 tbsp. of olive oil and the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Add the onion and cook until soften but not browned. Meanwhile bring the broth to a lower simmer in a saucepan.
  • Partially cover and keep hot. Add the rice to the onions and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes, until rice looks translucent.
  • Add ½ tsp. salt and the wine and cook until it is absorbed.
  • Continue adding the stock 1cup at a time, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed and the rice is creamy and slightly al dente, about 18 minutes.
  • Stir in the pancetta and cabbage mixture, 1 cup of the Parmigiano and, if desired, the fresh mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm with the remaining Parmigiano on the side.



Donatella Arpaia

Donatella Arpaia is a chef, restaurateur, entrepreneur, and mother. She has built an empire of successful restaurants drawing on the skills, passion, methods, and love for food she learned from her family.