Risotto con Zafferano e Pancetta in Pentola a Pressione (Saffron and Pancetta Risotto)


Fragrant, flavorful saffron is the perfect ingredient for a simple, yet tasty risotto. You can prepare this recipe in no time using a pressure cooker, or choose to make it the traditional way in a regular pot.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
16 mins
Additional Time:
2 mins
Total Time:
33 mins
4 servings


  • 2 ¾ cups vegetable broth

  • 3 ½ tablespoons hot water

  • 1 pinch saffron threads

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ onion, thinly sliced

  • 10 ½ ounces Arborio rice

  • ½ cup white wine

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 ¾ ounces pancetta, cubed

  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Pour vegetable stock into a saucepan over low heat. Cover and keep warm.

  2. Combine hot water and saffron threads in a small bowl.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a stovetop pressure cooker. Cook and stir onion until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add Arborio rice; cook and stir until toasted and coated with oil, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase heat and pour in wine; simmer until alcohol has evaporated and rice has absorbed wine, about 2 minutes.

  4. Stir vegetable stock and saffron mixture into the pressure cooker. Seal according to manufacturer's instructions. Increase heat to high; cook until cooker whistles, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook for 4 minutes.

  5. Remove cooker from heat and release pressure according to manufacturer's instructions. Remove the lid. Stir in 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, pancetta, and butter. Let stand until rice absorbs remaining stock and Parmesan cheese melts, 2 to 3 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

If using a regular pot, use 1 quart vegetable stock. Follow recipe above through step 3. Once the wine has been absorbed, reduce heat to medium and stir in warm stock 1 ladleful at a time, stirring after each addition until it is fully absorbed. The rice will take 18 to 20 minutes to cook fully. Add the saffron halfway through cooking. Once the rice is fully cooked, stir in Parmesan cheese, pancetta, and butter. Remove from heat and let stand 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Cooking risotto in a pressure cooker is ridiculously convenient, but it requires almost perfection in timing and quantities. The stock has to be a tiny bit more than twice the weight of the rice. For instance, if you use 4 ounces of rice, the stock will always be 8 to 9 fluid ounces at most. Also, the cooking time after the first whistle should not exceed 4 minutes sharp, so use a timer. Longer cooking will result in overcooked rice. When you open the cooker, if the rice tastes a bit raw and there's still stock in the cooker, don't worry; it will keep cooking during resting time and absorb any remaining stock, which is very important in preparing risotto. Don't skip this step!

Instead of saffron threads, you can use a sachet of saffron powder.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

510 Calories
18g Fat
67g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 510
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 644mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 67g 24%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 165mg 13%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 108mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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