pesto risotto

September 24th, 2008

I’ve had risotto on my mind for a while now. I made it earlier this year for the first time, and although that recipe didn’t quite do it for me, I felt like I needed to give risotto another try with something a little safer. When I saw a recipe for pesto risotto in “How To Eat Supper”, I knew that would be right up my alley.

I’ve been picking up basil throughout the summer and making pesto, then freezing it. So I didn’t follow the recipe for pesto, I just took some out of the freezer and let it thaw. I did however follow the recipe for making risotto that included boiling it in chicken broth, adding a cup at a time until it was cooked all the way. Oh boy, the result was just what I was looking for. I absolutely loved the freshness of the pesto with the warm, comforting softness of the risotto. And while the risotto takes a little tending, it’s a nice departure from other pastas, making the extra attention worth it.

As if it couldn’t get any better, Lynne Rossetto Kasper gave an additional recipe for the leftovers, fried risotto patties. Ummm, key to my heart. I came home from work all tired and a little ornery, but then I remembered this recipe for fried risotto patties and the night started looking up. I pulled out my day old risotto, made a few little patties, dipped them in egg wash then some panko crumbs and I was minutes away from risotto indulgence. The outside got golden and crispy while the inside remained a little gooey and soft, full of flavor from the pesto. It was a tasty and easy treat after a long day.

pesto risotto
based on a recipe from “How To Eat Supper”

pesto, such as this recipe

3 Tablespoons butter or good-tasting extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced*
salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 heaping cup Italian Arborio or Canaroli rice
1/4 cup dry white wine*
3 1/2-4 cups chicken broth

garnish with pine nuts

* I didn’t have either of these and it still turned out tasty.

Prepare pesto and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, heat the butter or oil over medium heat. Add onions and salt and pepper. Saute until onions are soft and clear, about 3 minutes.
Blend in garlic and rice, cook about 3 minutes, stirring often.
Raise the heat to medium high. Stir in the wine until it’s absorbed. (If you don’t have wine just skip to next step)
Begin adding broth, 1 cup at a time, simmering and stirring each addition until the liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup. Never cover the pot. Once you’ve started adding the broth, the cook time is about 15 minutes.
Afrer cooking about 3 cups, start adding the broth in 1/2 cup portions and begin tasting the risotto.
When it’s ready, the rice should be close to tender, with a little more firmness to the bite than you’d like, and it should be nearly soupy (it will continue cooking and absorb a little more broth in the next step). Never cook the rice to a mush.
Immediately remove the pot from the heat, let it stand for 3 minutes. Fold in the pesto, sprinkle with pine nuts and eat up.

Comments: 9 Total

  1. MangerLaVille

    September 24, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    This looks amazing and full of flavor. Risotto is one of my favorite things and one of the first things my mother taught me to take. It lends itself to infinite variation. I can’t wait to try this.

  2. jonathan@dailydesignspot

    September 27, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    hey.. first time to you site and i must admit i enjoy it a lot! thanks!!
    glad to see you taking on risotto… yes it takes a little more ‘face time’… but so worth it..
    not sure if you did this but here is a little hint just incase.. heat up you broth and your results will be even better!! maybe even speeds up the process.. my nan told me so dont ask questions!! haha

    take care and expect me back!


  3. sara angel

    September 27, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    mmm, i love pesto. never would have thought to pair it with risotto but that sounds like it would be amazing!

  4. coco

    September 30, 2008 at 1:38 am

    Very pretty blog, I must say. :)

  5. Lauren

    January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    About how much pesto did you add for this recipe? I am wanting to use storebought pesto (i know, shame on me) and was curious how much I would need… THANKS!

  6. Kelly

    January 29, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Lauren,
    hmmm, I think 1/2 cup of pesto would work. If it’s not enough, you can always mix a little more in once its cooked. I hope that helps! Good luck!

  7. links london

    April 6, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    I hope that helps! Good luck!

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