Risotto cakes with pancetta and a poached egg

Risotto cakes with pancetta and a poached egg
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Around 45 minutes, plus cooling.

Make a basic risotto recipe and if you have leftovers make these risotto cakes and serve them with crispy pancetta and a poached egg.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp saffron strands
  • 300g arborio or carnaroli risotto rice
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 1 litre fresh vegetable or chicken stock
  • 75g vegetarian Parmesan, grated
  • Flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Oil, for frying
  • Crispy pancetta, to serve
  • Poached eggs, to serve


  1. Get all your ingredients ready. Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a wide, non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the saffron until it begins to release its colour, then add the rice. Stir for 1 minute to coat in the butter, then pour in the wine and bubble until absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, put the vegetable or chicken stock in a small saucepan and keep at a low simmer. Add a ladleful to the rice, stirring until absorbed. Continue adding the stock – 1 ladleful at a time, stirring frequently and making sure it is absorbed before adding the next ladleful – until the rice is al dente. This will take about 20 minutes. You might not need all the stock. Stir in the remaining butter, cover with the lid and set aside for 2 minutes.
  3. To serve, stir in the grated Parmesan, chopped parsley and some seasoning to taste. Divide the risotto between shallow bowls or plates, top with some Parmesan shavings and serve immediately.
  4. To make the cakes, leave the risotto to go cold. Divide into 8 and shape into cakes, then dip the top and base of each in seasoned flour. In batches, pan-fry in oil over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes each side, until hot throughout and golden.
  5. Serve with the pancetta and poached eggs.


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