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Spring Risotto with Pea + Pistachio Pesto

What Annie's Eating
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner
Servings 2 -4


  • Pea + Pistachio Pesto:
  • 1 and 1/2 Cup Peas fresh peas OR thawed frozen peas work perfectly
  • 1/3 Cup toasted pistachios
  • 1/3 Cup basil tightly packed
  • 1/3 Cup chives
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 1 and a half lemons
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • Risotto:
  • 4 Ounces diced pancetta or bacon optional - omit to make this vegetarian
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Small yellow onion diced
  • 2 Cloves garlic diced
  • 1 Cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 Cup dry white wine
  • 3 and 1/2 to 4 cups low sodium chicken broth at room temp or warmer (use veggie broth to make this vegetarian)
  • 1/2 Cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Toppings:
  • Freshly grated lemon zest
  • Fresh peas
  • Crispy pancetta or bacon
  • Fresh chives
  • Pistachios


  • Pulse all pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender until fully incorporated and set aside (this yields about 1 and 1/2 cups of pesto).
  • Heat a large pot or skillet over medium heat, and render the pancetta or bacon until slightly crispy and set aside.
  • Drain some of the fat, and add the olive oil to the pot. Add the chopped onion and sweat for several minutes until soft and tender, but not brown. Add minced garlic and cook for about one minute, just until fragrant.
  • Add the arborio rice to the skillet and stir to coat it with the olive oil, onions, and garlic. Add the white wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated while stirring often, about 3 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the broth into the arborio rice and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. The heat should be on medium to medium-low – not too hot that it burns on the bottom. Continue cooking the rice by adding the broth by the 1/2 cup and stirring constantly. Be sure to allow each addition of the broth to absorb almost completely before adding the next. This process should take about 20 minutes, and the rice should be tender but still a bit firm to the bite and the whole mixture is creamy. I used about 3 and 1/2 cups of broth, but if you feel that's too dry, go ahead and add more broth as desired.
  • Remove from heat, stir in pesto, salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and stir.
  • Top with toppings of your choice. I love using ingredients that are already in the dish, but using the fresh version to incorporate different textures and flavor profiles. Freshly grated lemon zest, fresh peas, crispy pancetta/bacon, chives and pistachios taste amazing!
  • Serve immediately!
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