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New York Times food writer and cookbook author Melissa Clark makes quick and easy risotto in an Instant Pot (aka multicooker)—her secret kitchen weapon—with red wine, mushrooms + pancetta.  

"Most risotto recipes call for white wine, in part to maintain the pure pale color of the rice. But using red wine adds richness and a more pronounced fruitiness to the pot. Beware the color, though. Depending on what kind of red wine you use, the risotto may end up anywhere from burgundy to puce to kind of gray. Luckily, a handful of parsley will cure all, and the depth of flavor makes up for the hue. You can use any kind of mushroom, but maitakes are my favorite here for their lacy texture and intensely woodsy flavor." —Melissa 

For more recipes from our "Secret Kitchen Weapons" episode, check out Rach's Cast-Iron Skillet Roast Stuffed Cabbage and Bob Harper's Air Fryer Frittata Cups


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts, halved and thinly sliced (or use 2 shallots)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 to 3 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 ½ cups arborio rice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup fruity red wine (Cote du Rhone or Cabernet, for example)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley or dill, for serving
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)


Serves: 4


In the pot of an electric pressure cooker, using the saute function set on medium, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until hot. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. 

Raise the saute heat to high and stir in the mushrooms and leek. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer, until fragrant. 

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mushroom mixture to a 4-cup measuring cup, then pour enough stock into the measuring cup so that the mushrooms and liquid together make 3 ½ cups. 

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pot. Stir in the rice and salt and cook until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Stir in the wine and a generous amount of pepper and cook until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the mushroom stock mixture and half of the cooked pancetta. 

Seal the pot and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Manually release the pressure, then stir until the risotto is nice and creamy, about 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve sprinkled with the remaining crispy pancetta, parsley, and Parmesan, if desired. 

Note: To make this vegan, skip the Parmesan and pancetta and add an extra 4 ounces of mushrooms to the pot. If you like, you can finish this with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, though there's enough going on that you wouldn't miss it. 

Excerpted from Dinner in One by Melissa Clark. Copyright © 2022 by Melissa Clark. Used with permission by Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved.