A few weeks ago I made my Creme Fraiche, Pesto and Sundried Tomato Gnocchi (it was yummy as ever!!), and then realised I had an open jar of pesto that I really didn’t want to see go to waste. I asked my Twitter friends for ideas on ways to use it, and received lots of fab ideas that I plan to try out over the next few weeks. But whilst I was reading through all the suggestions, I suddenly had a eureka moment and thought about putting pesto in one of my all-time favourite dishes – Risotto. Basing it around my basic risotto recipe, I decided to experiment with a few additions until I came up with this dish.
I was going to make this the traditional way and stand stirring it constantly for 30 minutes, but then I remembered how easy and tasty this Oven-Baked Ham and Pea Risotto was and my inner laziness took over. And I’m glad I did as it was delicious. I think this may be my new favourite risotto flavour too, and I urge all fans of pesto to make it asap!
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tsp butter
- 85g risotto rice
- 250ml chicken stock – made using 2 low salt chicken oxo cubes
- 1 cooked chicken breast, chopped into bitesize chunks
- 2 tbsp pesto
- 1 heaped tbsp Philadelphia cream cheese
- Preheat the oven to 200°C or gas mark 6
- Melt the butter in a pan, then add the onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes until softened. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the stock, bring it to the boil for one minute and transfer it all to an ovenproof dish
- Cover with a lid or foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through
- After 20 minutes, add the chicken and pop it back in to the oven for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is warmed through, the rice is cooked and all the stock has been used up
- Remove the dish from the oven and stir in the pesto and cream cheese until the cream cheese has all melted in – taste it at this point to see if you need to add more pesto! Then serve
Tips and Ideas:
- Add chopped sun-dried tomato to the risotto for extra flavour
- Use different flavoured pesto, such as the Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto or Roasted Pepper Risotto
- Swap the chicken for quorn for a veggie alternative
Have you got any ideas for ways to use up pesto too? Do you have a recipe for homemade pesto you’d like to share? What’s your favourite risotto flavour? Please comment below or post it on my blog’s Facebook page.