Pancetta-wrapped Scallops served over Saffron Risotto (by Guest Chef Piergiorgio Nanni)

Recipe Courtesy of Italian Cooking and Living (
A web-exclusive recipe from Italian Cooking and Living

For the Risotto:
  • 5 oz butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • salt TT
  • 1 1/4 cup Arborio Rice
  • 3 fl oz white wine
  • 3 tsp saffron threads
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp grated parmigiano

For the Scallops

  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp margarine, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper TT
  • 12 large sea scallops
  • 4 slices pancetta

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 6 tbsp butter

  • 1 fl oz lemon juice


Heat 3 oz of butter in a 12 to 14 inch skillet on medium heat until melted. Once butter is melted, add yellow onion and pinch of salt. Continue to cook over medium heat (sweating the onion) for 15- 20 minutes or until mixture is blonde in color, not brown. When onions are cooked, add rice. Cook over medium heat for approximately 1 minute. Add white wine and saffron to rice and continue to cook over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes. Meanwhile, bring chicken stock to a boil. Using a medium ladle, add chicken stock to risotto one ladle per time and simmer until it is absorbed. Stir occasionally with wooden spoon. Make sure that liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle of stock. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Add remaining butter (2oz) and parmigiano and continue to cook over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes.


Preheat oven to 450.

Combine lemon zest, garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper and coat each scallop. Wrap pancetta around the perimeter of each seasoned scallop. Fasten with oven-safe skewer. Drizzle oil onto baking sheet and position scallops on top, scallop side down. Place tbsp of butter atop each scallop and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Drizzle lemon juice over each scallop Arrange scallops over risotto and garnish with fresh herbs of choice.

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