Yield: Serves two as a main course.
This makes a generous amount of pesto, so use half and freeze the rest for the next time you make risotto.
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Make the risotto: Bring the stock to a boil; reduce to a simmer. In a medium, heavy-gauge saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter. Stir in the rice, toasting just until it starts to sizzle and pop, about 1 minute. It should not color. Add the onion, stirring constantly, and cook until translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the wine.
Continue this way until the rice is just al dente, about 20 minutes total cooking time. Bite into a grain; you should see a white pin-dot in the center. Take the risotto off the heat. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter. Stir in half of the herb pesto (freeze the rest for another time) and the cheese. Stir vigorously for a few seconds. The risotto should be moist and creamy, not runny. Add more stock to loosen the risotto if you like, and more salt to taste, if needed. Serve immediately.
I made a couple changes from the recipe, in that just stirred in chopped spinach and diced steamed artichoke hearts in the last few minutes of cooking, and just before serving, tossed it all with some of my classic basil pesto which I already had on hand. But it was excellent! Beautiful spring green colors and fresh light flavors.
This is an amazingly light and fresh tasting risotto, not like the usual heavy suspects. I use the full amount of pesto for an especially strong 'green' taste, and like to leave it on the more liquid side. Goes down like like risotto, soup, and salad all in one.
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