Caputo’s Fennel Risotto

4 fennel bulbs and tender stalks, thinly sliced. Reserve the fronds.
6 oz butter
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 oz. pancetta, diced small
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken stock, simmering
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
reserved fennel fronds, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds

Prepare to fennel in a saute pan by melting 1 tablespoon of the butter and slowly cooking the fennel bulb and stalks, covered, for about 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and add 1 more tablespoon of butter. In a large skillet, slowly brown the pancetta in the remaining butter. Add the onion to the pancetta and brown. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the rice to the pancetta and onions and stir for several minutes to coat the rice well. Pour the wine over rice and stir constantly until liquid is absorbed by the rice. Add the chicken stock to the rice one cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the chicken stock one cup at a time until the rice is done. Add the cooked fennel, the chopped fronds, the fennel seeds and the grated parmesan and stir well. Cover and let rest for about two minutes before serving.

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