Risotto With Pesto and Peas
- Kosher salt
- 3 leeks (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 3/4 cup diced ham
- 3/4 cup pesto (store-bought or reserved from Pesto Pork With Polenta
- 1 cup small fresh mozzarella balls or diced fresh mozzarella
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Make the broth: Bring 6 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Adjust the heat to keep the broth at a gentle simmer.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until almost evaporated, about 1 more minute.
Add 2 cups of the hot leek broth to the rice; cook, stirring occasionally, until almost absorbed, about 6 minutes (adjust the heat to keep the risotto at a simmer). Add 1 more cup broth and cook, stirring, until almost absorbed, about 5 more minutes. Add the leeks, peas and 1 more cup broth and cook, stirring, until almost absorbed, about 5 more minutes. Taste the rice: If it is not fully cooked, add a little more broth and continue to cook, stirring, until al dente.
Stir in the ham and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from the heat; stir in 2/3 cup pesto, the mozzarella and parmesan. Season with salt. Divide among bowls and top with the remaining pesto.
Photograph by Antonis Achilleos
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray
Recipe courtesy of Robert Irvine