My friend came over on Tuesday night and we were determined to make a risotto. The night before we had enjoyed a tasty risotto at a restaurant, and were motivated to try a recipe for ourselves!
If anyone knows me, they know if a dish combines pumpkin AND pesto, then I’m sold. Pumpkin has to be one of my favorite ingredients, and when combined with pesto, chicken and spinach leaves in a rice based dish – where can you go wrong *drools*!
We all enjoyed the dish,with everyone going back for seconds – I guess I’m not the only one with a pumpkin/pesto addiction!
The pesto is homemade and takes two seconds, I would definitely suggest making your own as many of the pre-made ones contains preservatives and is probably lurking with possible allergens!
I would also suggest perhaps roasting the pumpkin instead of just cooking it, though I have yet to try this. Next time though as I know I will be making this again 😉
Chicken, Pumpkin and Pesto Risotto
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 large chicken breast fillets, trimmed
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup basil pesto (depending on taste – recipe is below)
- 100 grams baby spinach leaves
- 50 grams pine nuts, roasted
- Parmesan cheese for serving
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin. Cook, tossing, for 5 minutes, or until golden. Add water. Cook for a further 5 to 8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
- Heat remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, or until onion is soft. Stir in rice. Cook for 1 minute. Add stock and pumpkin. Bring to the boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook for 5 minutes each side, or until just cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Thinly slice chicken and stir into the rice mixture (which has been cooking for 20 minutes). Cover. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Season with pepper, stir in basil pesto, spinach leaves and pine nuts. Serve among plates and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese!
Basil Pesto Recipe:
- 45g (1/4 cup) pine nuts, roasted1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 small garlic cloves, halved
- 60g (3/4 cup) shredded parmesan
- 5 tbs olive oil
- Place the pine nuts, basil, garlic and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the oil in a thin steady stream until well combined.