Texture is everything to me when it comes to food. Some of my favorite textures to eat are crisp apples, al dente pasta, crunchy potato chips, ice cream with a little milk poured on top (don't ask)...and I'll stop there because the list goes on and on. Risotto is not excluded from my list of best textured food awards. It's super creamy and luxurious and makes you feel like you are eating something really special. I know it can be intimidating, but in all honesty it's really easy to make! Time is your only commitment. Since I love risotto so much, I combined another one of my favorite flavors of pesto to make the perfect springtime version of a classic risotto recipe! My pesto risotto is going to make your tummy really happy from the first bite.
I didn't grow up eating risotto and was introduced to it by watching my favorite cooking shows starting back in high school. I used to watch chefs like Giada and Mario making risotto on the Food Network and think to myself that kinda seems like a commitment and it kinda scares me to try it out, but it sure sounds yummy! One day I finally put my fears aside and went for it. Turns out it was really easy! Just keep an eye on it while it cooks and stir it frequently. No biggie, you can handle it!
It's delicious in it's classic form (just onion, garlic, chicken stock, and white wine), but it's also an amazing canvas to take on a multitude of flavors for any time of year! In our house pesto is a staple. We put it on pizza, make salad dressings out of it, use it as a pasta sauce, spread it on sandwiches, and burgers!
I figured why not mix it into some creamy and comforting risotto to brighten it up for Spring! It is a winning combination that you guys are going to love once you try it out!
- 2 Cups of Arborio Rice (you really can't sub a different rice here guys)
- 3 Tbsp. Butter
- 1/2 Cup of White Wine
- 1 Onion
- 6 Cups of Chicken Broth (warmed on the stove)
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Cup of Basil
- 1/4-1/2 Cups of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 Cup of Parmesan Cheese (1/2 for the risotto and 1/2 for the pesto)
- 1/8 Cup of Pine Nuts
- Melt butter in a large pot. Add arborio rice and saute for about three minutes on medium heat.
- Add in your onion and saute for another three minutes until the onion starts to soften.
- Add in the white wine and let it reduce and get absorbed by the rice.
- At this point you will want to add your chicken stock, a cup at a time.
- Each time you add your stock, you will want to keep stirring the rice so it doesn't stick to the pot. Let liquid get absorbed each time before adding your next cup of rice.
- You will repeat this process until all the chicken stock has been used and rice is tender, about 35-45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and 1/2 of the parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
- To make your pesto combine your basil, garlic, pine nuts, 1/2 of the parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Pour in your olive oil and combine well in a food processor. I like to start with 1/4 Cup of olive oil and then add the other half if I need it for consistency.
- Once your risotto has finished cooking, add in your pesto and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately with fresh shavings of parmesan cheese.
I love to serve this risotto with a piece of fish for dinner to complete a perfect Springtime meal! I hope you will give risotto a try if you never have before, and if you are an old pro, then add some pesto and tell me how you like it!