The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Pesto Risotto with Seared Shrimp

5.00 Mitt(s) 1 Rating(s)1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 5

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Level: Easy

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Description

Summer flavors in winter. Worth it!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE PESTO:
  • ½ cups Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 clove Garlic, Peeled
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • Salt To Taste
  • FOR THE RISOTTO:
  • ½ pints Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Or As Needed To Drizzle Over Tomatoes
  • Salt To Taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ whole Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
  • ½ teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
  • 2 cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Or Vegetable Broth
  • 3 cups Fresh Spinach Leaves
  • 1 pound Medium Shrimp, Peeled, Tails Removed, Deveined
  • Fresh Parmesan, Toasted Pine Nuts, And Lemon Wedges, Optional, For Serving

Preparation

First you’ll roast the tomatoes for the risotto. Preheat oven to 400 F. Place the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on just a pinch of salt. Roast at 400 F for 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes are wilted and slightly charred.

As the tomatoes roast you can make the pesto. Combine all of the pesto ingredients in a small food processor or blender and puree. Taste, and add salt to your preference.

While the tomatoes are roasting, you can also start to make the risotto. Add 2 tablespoons of butter, the onion, crushed red pepper, and a sprinkle of salt to a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring, until the onion softens but doesn’t turn brown at the edges. Add the garlic and rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, to soften the garlic and coat the rice in the butter. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the wine and stir until completely absorbed. Then, stirring as you go, add the stock 2/3 cup at a time, waiting to add the next 2/3 cup until the prior one is absorbed. Do this for about 25 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.

When the risotto is done, heat a separate skillet to medium-high heat with the remaining tablespoon of butter (you’ll use this for the shrimp in a second).

Stir the pesto and spinach leaves into the risotto and turn off the heat.

Add the shrimp into the hot pan with the melted butter and cook for 1 minute until just browned, then flip. As soon as you flip the shrimp, add the reserved wine into the skillet and stir. Cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes more until just cooked through and most of the wine has evaporated.

To serve, make a bed of the risotto on each plate. Top with a few shrimp, and garnish as desired with Parmesan, pine nuts, the roasted tomatoes, and a lemon wedge.

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Profile photo of ksvoce

ksvoce on 4.1.2014

I made this for a book club dinner, and it was a huge hit! The risotto was delicious before I even added the pesto or spinach, and over the top afterwards! Of course, risotto IS risotto, and you have to have the time and patience to keep stirring until it is just right…This recipe is SOOOO worth the time and effort!!

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