Begin by adding the olive oil, butter, garlic and onion to a pan and cook over a low heat for around 10 minutes so the onions and garlic soften and begin to turn sweet. Next add in the rice and increase the heat slightly ensuring all sides of the rice are coated in the butter and oil and allow to cook for a minute or two (keep stirring to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the pan).
Next add in the wine and stir, cooking over a medium to low heat again not allowing the rice to stick at all. Once the rice has absorbed the wine you can begin to add in the vegetable stock. Do this in small batches, a ladle at a time. This will take around 12-15 minutes.
TIP – Don’t add the next batch of stock until the rice has absorbed the last.
Make sure you keep checking that the rice still has a bit of a bite to it; you don’t want to overcook it.
For the green pepper and pistachio pesto prepare all ingredients as noted then blitz in a food processor until you have a smooth paste. You can also muddle into a paste using a pestle and mortar starting with the harder ingredients first. Have a taste and adjust seasoning or add more oil to loosen the paste if necessary.
Once your risotto rice has absorbed all the stock and has a good consistency to it (you’re aiming for your rice to be slightly al dente and definitely not too sloppy. When you’re ready to serve add in your pesto mix. If you need to add in some extra liquid once you’ve used all your stock to loosen it slightly, hot water will do, adding a small dash at a time.
TIP – Only add in your pesto mix at the very last minute so you retain the vibrant green colour.
Take a small frying pan and add several glugs of oil, heat and then add in the mint leaves frying for thirty seconds or so. The oil is hot enough when the leaves fizz immediately on adding them. Remove from oil and drain on kitchen towel.
Serve the risotto with an extra handful of grated Parmesan, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some freshly ground black pepper and a scattering of crispy fried mint. Serve immediately.