Breakfast Risotto (Pancetta Risotto with Poached Eggs)

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The idea for this dish came from something I ate at brunch several years ago. Although the restaurant has since shut down, I still recall this meal every once in a while.  (And I love that you can add pancetta to risotto and suddenly it’s acceptable breakfast fare.)

This dish was actually served with a farm fresh/uncooked egg yolk, and I wasn’t really a fan of that. It’s honestly taken me a long time to come around to egg yolks in general. It’s crazy, I know, but ever since I was little, I always preferred whites, whether they were hard-boiled or pan-fried. I never went gaga for a runny yolk like so many seem to do, so obviously I was not particularly interested in poached eggs. But lately, I’ve given them another chance and I really enjoy them in certain applications. They are especially great here because not only do they really make this more “breakfasty,” the runny yolk mixed with the creamy risotto makes this almost carbonara-like in texture, and that’s certainly not a bad thing.

When I first decided to try making poached eggs at home, I was incredibly intimidated. Imagine my surprise when I followed Deb’s tutorial and my very first egg turned out perfectly (unfortunately, the dish I topped it with that time was not perfect, which is why it was never blogged; hah!). So, if you’re intimidated by trying to poach eggs at home, or have tried in the past and failed, have faith in Smitten Kitchen.

I’m sure there are endless adaptations to this dish. I thought of doing a sausage and cheddar one, myself. Or what about chorizo and Chihuahua cheese? Vegetarian with goat cheese? The possibilities are endless.

Breakfast Risotto (Pancetta Risotto with Poached Eggs)

  • Dang I just used my last shallot thinking I was being crafty by incorporating it instead of another onion. Now I have to buy another for this cause it looks too good to pass up!

    • elly

      Haha, you can always just use a yellow onion! 3-4 Tbsp. should do it. 🙂

  • That picture is mouth-watering. This looks amazing. I will be making it soon. Thanks for sharing!

  • What a fabulous breakfast/brunch/breakfast for dinner idea. I love eggs and am always so happy to find new dishes that use them!

  • We eat most other grains for breakfast, so why not rice?! I love the idea of starting out my day with a runny yolk covered breakfast risotto!

  • Oh man, this looks amazing. Definitely happening soon.

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  • ChristinaBakes

    omg, was it Sweets & Savories? I can’t believe I forgot about that delicious brunch item. Thank you for reminding me and sharing this recipe. I will definitely be trying out this recipe in the near future.

    • elly

      Christina – yes!

      • Carmin

        I found your page via Google searching for breakfast risotto that resembled the one I used to have at…you guessed it…Sweet and Savories.