I always have to go buy white wine when I make this, we are red wine drinkers. I also make large batches of kale basil pesto or Thai basil pesto and freeze them in small bags so I can pull it out anytime I need it.
Jamie's version is just the risotto and pesto, but I often cook some shrimp or scallops to eat with it.
When shrimp and scallops are outrageously priced, I add some chopped asparagus halfway through the cooking process or roast some cauliflower and top the risotto with beautiful carmelized white tree tops.
In Italian: Risotto Bianco con Pesto (which
obviously sounds more delcious and fancy)
1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts
1 small clove of garlic peeled and chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
~ 2 cups of basil leaves
1/2 cup of grated parmesan
extra virgin olive oil
This is Jamie's pesto recipe although he uses "handfuls" as measurements. Throw everything, except the parmesan, into a little food processor or blender and whaz, adding enough olive oil to get everything moving. Stir in the parm and taste. Add more salt, pepper and/or olive oil depending on taste and consisitency. It should be a tad runny.
I often use Thai basil pesto or Kale Basil Pesto that I have thawed from my freezer.
4 cups of chicken stock (I use one carton and then refill it with water and add that as well.)
2 tbsp of olive oil
3 tbsp of butter
1 large onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 stalks of celery finely chopped
2 cups of arborio rice
2 wine glasses of a nice white wine (I literally use a wine glass to measure this)
1/2 cup of grated parmesan
juice of 1/2 a lemon
basil leaves for garnish
Heat the stock in a saucepan. In a different large pan or dutch oven, add the olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. When hot, add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook over a low heat slowly and lovingly. That's right. When the veg have softened, add the rice and turn the heat to medium heat. Continue stirring and you will see the rice begin to turn translucent. Add the wine and continue stirring.
Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add a good pinch of salt and begin adding the broth one ladleful at a time. Turn the heat down to a simmer so the rice cooks slowly. Continue adding stock after the rice absorbs it and continue stirring. This process is what takes some time and work - but it's worth it. Continue adding the stock and stirring, about 15 minutes. Taste the rice to see if it is cooked. If not, continue to add ladles of stock until the rice is soft. You can add water if necessary.
Once the rice is soft, remove from the heat and add the last 2 tbsp of butter, parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and put the lid on. Let it sit for 2 minutes. Jamie says this part is very important and so I never skip this step. Eat straight away, risotto doesn't like to wait. Spoon onto serving plates and top with a dollop of pesto, a few basil leaves and a little olive oil. Life will never be the same.