Arugula and Sweet Pea Risotto 1

I LOVE risotto.  It’s one of my favorite comfort foods, and this recipe has a bright freshness from the peas for just the right amount of pick me up.  Frozen peas are a super cheap thing to keep on hand and Arugula was on sale, making this the perfect low cost dinner.

One of the things to remember when you’re trying to cut costs is to cook on sale.  Stocking up on pantry items when they are cheap, such as the Arborio called for here, will give you the flexibility to plan your menu around cheap fresh ingredients.

Remember the fabulous chicken stock we made a while ago?  Well, pull some out of the freezer and defrost it.  If you didn’t make chicken stock, store bought will do, but it’s really so much better with homemade.  Adding the broth gradually will bring out the starch in the rice, for a creamy finish.

I like to top mine with cherry tomatoes, but it’s certainly good as is.

Arugula and Sweet Pea Risotto

3 1/3 cups chicken stock
1 onion, minced
2 TBS olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ cup vermouth or dry white wine
arugula pesto
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
¼ cup shredded Parmesan

In a small sauce pot, bring broth to a slight simmer.
Sauté onion until translucent.  Add garlic and continue sautéing until fragrant.  Add rice and continue sautéing, 1-2 minutes.
Add vermouth and cook until fully evaporated.  Add a ladle (about ½ cup) of broth, to rice and stir in.  Add broth one ladle at a time, allowing liquid to fully absorb before adding the next ladle.  Stir after each broth addition.
Once the rice has absorbed all the liquid, stir in pesto and peas.  Add Parmesan.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Note:  Make the Arugula Pesto in a cuisinart or blender.  Throw about 1½ cups arugula, 2 cloves garlic and ¼ cup olive oil into the bowl, with some salt and pepper.  Blend until smooth.  You don’t need to worry about adding any Parmesan to this pesto, because you’re adding it to the risotto that will have some already.  If you want to use this on pasta though, I would add ¼ cup Parmesan as well.Recipe in print-friendly format

About Mikaela Cowles

I’m a food-gobbling, book-reading, aspiring photog. Born and raised in Seattle, I love dancing in the rain, bouquets of fresh basil and green grass between my toes. I like how kneading butter into flour makes my fingers soft. I’m passionate about all things sweet potato. I prefer my coffee black, my scotch on the rocks and my steak bloody. I hunt, when I have time; play basketball; and hike. I’ve been known to laugh so hard I hyperventilate. And, I’m the owner of Making Language Count, a boutique freelance writing business.

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