Risotto with Basil Pesto

This is a very basic recipe but I want to share it with you because it is that good! For the risotto, you may need to use more or less than 4 cups of stock. I suggest you should use low sodium chicken stock.  Do not add any more salt to the risotto as you will be adding some Parmesan later on, and the pesto sauce can be quite salty.

You will probably have some leftover pesto so just keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for about  2-3 days. You can use it on sandwiches, or to dress pasta/potatoes with it.



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock, warmed up
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat until it shimmers. Add the diced onions and cook until soft, 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the Arborio rice and toast for 2 minutes or until the grain turns translucent around the edges. Add the wine and cook until almost all of it has been absorbed. Now add a cup of stock and cook until almost all of it has been absorbed as well.

Keep adding the stock by the cup, stirring frequently, and cooking it down, about 20-25 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese during the last two minutes of cooking. You can also add a pat of butter for extra richness at the same time if you wish.

Spoon the risotto into a bowl and top with a generous spoonful of pesto (recipe follows below). Mix well and enjoy!

Basil Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • a pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


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