Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Pesto Risotto for One

Pesto Risotto for One

My favorite Italian restaurant in New York, Da Andrea, served a lovely pesto risotto as their special one night. I would never have ordered it myself, as I tend not to veer from tradition when it comes to this particular spot where I’ve been frequenting since my hungry college days. Yet, my date ordered it (despite my disapproving glare) and, though I hate to admit it, I’m glad he did. Risotto is delicious, but dyeing it with a vibrant pesto mantecatura at the end really makes it sing; and scallops, if you like them, provide sweet relief from all that heady green music.

Risotto:
Olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, grated
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 cup Arborio rice*
1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
2 cups seafood broth, heated
Salt and pepper, to taste
1–2 sea scallops^

Mantecatura:
1/4 cup walnuts
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch basil
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon butter

*1/4 cup of rice feeds one (once) just fine. I hate risotto recipes because to me they always stretch the realistic portions of a normal human stomach. But if you want leftovers or tend to eat on the heavier side, then 1/2 cup is lovely.

For the risotto: In a medium braiser or any high-sided pan, sauté the shallot and garlic in a touch of olive oil until translucent. Stir in the celery seed and rice, coating each grain until oil-slicked. Splash in the wine and reduce, stirring constantly. Once the alcohol has evaporated, lower the heat and slowly ladle in the stock (one or two ladlefuls at a time), stirring until fully absorbed by the rice between each addition. Keep stirring until the rice is perfectly al dente (to the tooth), about 18 minutes. When cooked to your liking (I like mine with a slight bite in the middle), cover and proceed with the mantecatura.

For the mantecatura: Puree the walnuts (lightly toasted if you can), parsley, basil, egg yolk, olive oil, and cream in a processor until smooth. Stir this into the risotto, along with the butter, and watch as it dyes everything a glorious earth green. Season with salt and pepper.

^This pesto risotto is delicious as is, but I like to serve mine as the restaurant did: with scallops. Simply toss them in at the very end with the last ladleful of stock, and they should finish up gorgeously with the rice.

Bagna Càuda Penne with Radicchio

Bagna Càuda Penne with Radicchio

Bachelor's Honey Mustard Fried Chicken

Bachelor's Honey Mustard Fried Chicken