Green pepper & pistachio with bundles of incredible Parmigiano Reggiano
PREPARATION TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 35 MINUTES
500g Alborio rice
good glug of olive oil
1 large knob of butter
1 white onion – finely diced
2 cloves of garlic – crushed and finely chopped
generous sprinkle of sea salt
300ml white wine
700-800ml good quality vegetable stock or home made
For the Pesto –
2 green pepperS – Charred, peeled, centre removed and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic
150g pistachios - SHELLED, toasted
around 70g of basil leaves
100g PARMIGIANO REGGIANO- FINELY GRATED
3-4 generous glugs of extra virgin olive oil
sprinkle of salt
1 bunch sage leaves – picked from the stalks
several good glugs of olive or vegetable oil for shallow frying
40g PARMIGIANO REGGIANO- FINELY GRATED
extra fresh ground black pepper
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
For the risotto 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 heat, again not allowing the rice to stick at all. Once the rice has absorbed the wine you can begin to add in the HOT 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 place the green pepper, garlic and pistachio into the food processor with several generous glugs of olive oil, next add in the PARMIGIANO REGGIANO and once you have a smooth paste add in the basil at the very last minute, blitz again until smooth. 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.
For the ganrish -Take a small frying pan and add several glugs of oil, heat and then add in the mint /sage 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 PARMIGIANO REGGIANO, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some freshly ground black pepper and a scattering of crispy fried mint/sage and the beetroot leaves. Serve immediately.