Risotto with Pesto

This recipe is from Jamie Oliver's cookbook Jamie's Italy. The base of this risotto is called 'Risotto Bianco', simply meaning white risotto. It can be used for the start of many delicious risottos, throwing in whatever you want, like asparagus, artichokes, or different kinds of cheeses. Risottos are time consuming but also the ultimate comfort food.

*This recipe doubles easily for a larger serving.

Serves 2


5 cups of chicken stock

2 tbsp of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 stalks of celery, diced

1 white or yellow onion, minced

1 cup of Arborio rice

3/4 cup of White wine

Salt & Pepper

3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 a recipe of basil pesto

Garnishes: small basil leaves and pine nuts


Step 1: In a sauce pot over medium-hi heat, add the chicken stock and bring to light simmer.

Step 2: Meanwhile, in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat add 2 tbsp of of olive oil and let it heat up. Then add celery and onion. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and saute for 4-5 minutes. When the vegetables are soft, add the garlic and mix.

Step 3: Add the rice to the pan and mix around. Lightly cook the rice for 3-4 minutes or so, moving it around as needed. When the rice is starting to look a little clear, add the white wine. Let the wine evaporate.

Step 4: After the wine has evaporated, ladle about 1/2 cup of chicken stock into the rice. Mix into the rice, stirring. Once that has absorbed, add another ladle full. Keep doing this until the rice is creamy, with a slight texture to it. This whole process takes roughly 20-25 minutes.

Step 5: While the risotto is cooking, make your pesto. Divide the recipe in half (use only 1 bunch of basil, 1-2 small cloves of garlic, etc).

Step 6: Once the rice has absorbed all the liquid, add the Parmesan cheese. Mix.

Step 7: To plate this dish, divide the risotto into shallow bowls. Add a dollop of pesto onto the middle. Garnish with small basil leaves and some pine nuts.

*Note: The first time I had this recipe, my cousin made it for me but to add a little bit of protein to the dish, she cut up a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut them into chunks, cooked them in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper then added it to the risotto at the end before garnishing the dish. Very yummy.