Make the guanciale tomato sauce: In a large heavy-gauge saute pan or skillet over low heat, combine the olive oil, guanciale, onion, tomatoes, red chili pepper, and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside.
Make the risotto: In a medium heavy-gauge saucepan or pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a very low simmer. When the guanciale tomato sauce is done, add the rice to the sauce and stir for 2 minutes, until the kernels are well coated. Pour in the white wine and stir until the wine has completely evaporated. Ladle 1/2 cup of the water into the rice and stir until the water has reduced by two thirds. Add another ladleful of water, again stirring until reduced by two thirds. Repeat this process until most of the water has been absorbed by the rice and he rice is tender but not mushy, with a creamy consistency. (You may have a cup of water left unused.) When stirred, the rice should move slowly across the pan in slow waves (all'onda). This should take about 14 minutes from the time you begin ladling the water into the rice. Remove the risotto from the heat and cover for 2 minutes. Add the butter and grated cheese until the risotto is creamy. Season with salt and ground pepper. spoon the risotto into a serving bowl; drizzle with olive oil and top with a few grinds of pepper. Garnish with cheese curls and serve immediately.
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All credit for this recipe goes to John Coletta with Nancy Ross Ryan and Monica Kass Rogers, in collaboration with Rizzoli International Publications for the cookbook Risotto & Beyond.
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