This Pesto Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes and Chickpeas is creamy and cozy, bursting with flavor! Topped with roasted tomatoes and chickpeas,it becomes a luscious main course.
Ever since I first tried risotto, I have fallen in love with it. It is the perfect comfort food you want to cozy up with or even have for a date night with your special someone. Risotto is a classic dish that I like to refer to as a blank slate. Add just about any flavor profile to it, and you have this divine and creamy dish that is absolutely divine.
WHAT IS RISOTTO?
Risotto is made from arborio rice. It is a short grain rice from Northern Italy. Naturally gluten free, it is filled with starch that gives the creamy texture when cooked. There is a myth that risotto is hard to make. I’m here to tell you this is not true. It is just time consuming, that is all. Many people have started using the Instant Pot technique so I have included the instructions for that in the recipe card. I personally love the classic way of stirring in broth ladle by ladle and watching the rice soak up the liquid and getting creamier. There’s something therapeutic about this technique.
WANT TO MAKE AMAZING RISOTTO?
Here are some simple but important tips to help make your risotto perfect:
Keep your broth warm. If you use cold broth, it will drop the temperature of the rice it comes into contact with in the pan. This will also cause the starches to seize and become hard and gluey
Add your broth 1 ladle at a time. If you add your broth in all at once, your end result with be a mushy risotto. I prefer creamy to mushy personally. Yes this takes time but this technique helps ensure the rice releases the starch gradually to give the creamy texture while maintaining the integrity of it’s form.
If you decide to make the risotto in the Instant Pot, be aware that the liquid will pool at the top. That’s ok. Just give it a quick stir to redistribute the liquid into the rice and you will be fine.
If you choose to go the traditional stove top route, just keep stirring and you will be fine!
Enjoy this creamy and cozy bowl of yum and feel free to add your own toppings and flavors.
6 c veggie broth (3 ½ c if using Instant Pot/Pressure cooker, plus more for thinning as required)
½ c pesto
1 cups baby spinach
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
For the Roasted Chickpeas:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
Add chickpeas to baking sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and paprika.
Toss to evenly coat.
Bake for 30 minutes.
For the Roasted Tomatoes:
Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
For the risotto:
Pour soup stock into a saucepan and bring it to a gentle simmer, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet or pot.
Add the onion and sauté 3-5 minutes until it is translucent.
Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more.
Stir in rice, and cook 2-3 minutes to get it a bit toasty.
Deglaze the pan with a ladle of soup stock. Stir until it is mostly absorbed, scraping the bottom to remove any stuck bits.
Begin adding the hot soup stock, about 1/2 cup at a time. Cook, stirring often, until the stock nearly absorbed. Ladle in another 1/2 cup of the stock and continue to cook this way, adding more stock and stirring when rice is almost dry, about 15-20 minutes.
The rice should be cooked al dente but not mushy.
Constant stirring isn't necessary, but stir often to prevent sticking and to monitor when to add more stock.
Turn off the heat when the last of the broth has been absorbed into the rice. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Stir in pesto, and Parmesan cheese.
Stir in the spinach allowing it to wilt a bit.
Serve immediately in wide soup bowls or on plates, topped with the roasted cherry tomatoes and spiced chickpeas.
**For the Instant Pot method: Set the Instant Pot to sauté. Heat the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, cooking for 30 seconds. Stir in the rice, toast for a minute then add in the soup stock, salt, and pepper, and stir. Cover and set vent to sealing position. Select the manual setting. Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes.At the end of the cooking, release the steam with Quick Release. Remove lid and stir in the pesto, and Parmesan. Stir in the spinach allowing it to wilt a bit. Serve immediately in wide soup bowls or on plates, topped with the roasted cherry tomatoes and spiced chickpeas.
I'm Sapna, a foodie, blogger, wife, mom of two beautiful girls, and lover of spices. I have a background in Nutrition and Dietetics, which I use to incorporate healthy options into all of my recipes. I love traveling to new places, trying new food, and in turn, creating them in my kitchen to relive the magic. When I'm not in the kitchen, I love curling up with a good book, playing with my munchkins, running, hanging out with friends, and gardening.
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