I am sharing with you my moms Pesto Risotto Recipe which is quick, easy and absolutely lip smacking. I have been having this since I was a teenager and love the freshness of homemade pesto. And the best thing, it takes less than 30 minutes to make so you can be in and out of the kitchen in no time.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
Arborio Rice – 1 1/2 cups
Vegetable Stock – 32 Oz
Vegetables – Bell Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, Broccoli
Pine Nuts – 1/2 cup
Fresh Basil leaves – 2 1/2 cups (Roughly chopped)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 3/4 cup
2 garlic cloves peeled
Parmesan Cheese – 1 cup finely grated
Salt to taste
How to Make Pesto Sauce
Step 1: In a pan lightly toss pine nuts and set aside. Toss it for just around 1 minute.
Step 2: In a food processor, add the pine nuts and crush them till they are broken down. Add the garlic cloves and olive oil now and pulse the food processor till the garlic is chopped. Add the basil leaves to the food processor and pulse till you get an even consistency. Do not over pulse the mixture otherwise the basil will turn brown.
Step 3 : Remove the pesto base in any container and add parmesan cheese and salt as per taste in the container and mix well. The pesto sauce is now ready.
How to make Risotto Rice
Step 1 : In a pan, add the vegetable broth and let it boil. Once the vegetable broth is close to boiling, in another pan add the arborio rice and toss it for around a min and start adding the vegetable broth. Add only 1 cup at a time and let it cook. Once most of the broth is soaked by the rice add another cup to cook further. Continue adding the broth a little at a time till the rice is cooked.
Note – When adding the vegetable broth it should be boiling hot to get the perfect risotto rice consistency. Remember that the broth should be kept at a rolling boil.
Step 2 : While the Arborio rice is cooking wash and cut the vegetables you wish to use. I used Bell peppers (diced – not very small), cherry tomatoes (halved) and broccoli. I then sauted the vegetables in little extra virgin olive oil and set it aside.
Step 3: The Arborio rice would have cooked by now and there should be no broth left in the pan. Add the pesto sauce created above to the Risotto rice along with the stir fried veggies and mix well.
You can also use the pesto sauce to make pasta, add it on a bruschetta, as a pizza sauce or simply as a drizzle to finish off your salads. If you have leftovers you can store the pesto sauce in an airtight container for upto 2 – 3 days.
You can enjoy it with a side of your choice or just alone. I paired it with Garlic bread.