Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto Risotto

Time for December's Improv Cooking Challenge! 

The theme for this month is Red and Green. It was a very flexible theme and could be anything from food to decoration. I opted to make a dish and made my recipe before I posted for the last Improv Challenge in November!   As you know, I love making different risottos, and I had a bit of pesto I made this summer calling my name. I love roasted red peppers and knew that they would be a perfect addition to my risotto. I opted to split my pesto in this recipe by stirring in half and using the other half as topping. If you like, you can stir in the entire 1/2 cup over using it on top and you will have a wonderful result as well.  Kellen is a major rice lover, and devoured this dish. It is funny because pasta can be hit or miss, but if I serve him risotto (or really any rice type grain like cous cous or quinoa) he gobbles it down in no time flat! 

I love how festive this meal looks and it is a perfect side dish for a holiday get together that will impress your guests. Risotto can be a bit tricky to cook initially, but once you have your method down it is like riding a bike, and no ingredient combo is too difficult. 

Tonight, I am finishing (yay!) our Christmas cards so I can get them in the mail on Friday- cross that off my list! I am also doing a little baking for a few blog challenges. I originally planned to make meatballs tonight, but I think that it might turn into a pizza or sub sandwich night so I can get a few things done around the house! 

If you want to join the fun of the Improv Cooking Challenge visit Lesa of Edesia's Notebook for details! 

Stay tuned for next month's recipe using Pork and Rice!


2 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl butter
1 shallot, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup pesto
2/3 cup chopped roasted red peppers
3 Tbl shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste


Place stock in a medium saucepan. Bring  to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low-medium heat.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots; cook 1-2 minutes minutes. Stir in rice, and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium and add 1/2 cup wine; cook about 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.  Continue by adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next.   Add the roasted red peppers and 1/4 cup pesto to the rice with last portion of stock is added. Stir to break apart the peppers and evenly cook in the risotto.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Drizzles each portion with remaining pesto and serve immediately. 

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