Pancetta, French Lentil, and Spinach Risotto

Cooking Light
A quartet of alliums—onion, leek, shallot, and garlic—imbues savory flavor to this entrée dotted with green lentils. For a peppery finish, use arugula in place of spinach.
6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


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4 cups water
1/2 cup dried petite green lentils
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
Cooking spray
2 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped leek
1/4 cup chopped shallots
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups fresh baby spinach (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1. Combine 4 cups water and lentils in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.

2. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

3. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pancetta to pan; cook 5 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in onion, leek, shallots, and garlic; cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, and cook until liquid evaporates (about 1 minute), stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup broth; cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add the remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 22 minutes total). Stir in spinach; cook for 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Stir in lentils; cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in cheese. Serve immediately.

Created date

September 2008

Nutritional Information

Calories 282
Caloriesfromfat 21 %
Fat 6.7 g
Satfat 2.8 g
Monofat 2 g
Polyfat 0.5 g
Protein 14 g
Carbohydrate 42.7 g
Fiber 5.4 g
Cholesterol 14 mg
Iron 2.2 mg
Sodium 603 mg
Calcium 179 mg