was talking to a friend of mine the other day about our mutual love for risotto – and she told me how she loves to make hers with champagne. I just happened to have a bottle of Cava in my cabinet and decided to give it a try. I’m happy I did, because this was some of the best risotto I’ve made. The taste from the wine really adds so much delicate flavor — it’s perfect with the sweetness of the peas and scallops. The basil adds the perfect kick and really pulls it all together.
If you’ve ever been afraid or intimidated about making risotto at home, don’t be. It’s super easy – it just requires constant supervision and attention. Risotto is such a versatile dish, the possibilities for variety are really endless so be sure and explore any flavors that suit your personal taste.
(This recipe was originally published here on 10/16/2014)
- butter - 3 tbsp, separated
- shallots - 2, chopped
- arborio rice - 1 1/2 cups
- champagne - 1 cup
- chicken stock - 3 cups
- frozen peas - 1 1/2 cups
- parmesan cheese - 1 cup
- basil pesto - 1 tbsp
- salt and pepper - to taste
- scallops - 1/2 lb
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add the shallots and cook for about 4 - 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the rice and cook and stir for a few minutes to toast it. Add the champagne and cook until it is almost completely absorbed - stirring constantly.
- Add the chicken stock in ½ cup increments stirring each time until mostly absorbed. Keep doing this until the risotto reaches the texture and thickness you want - it should take about 20 or 25 minutes.
- While the risotto is cooking, heat some water in another pot and blanch the peas for about 2 minutes. When the risotto is ready, stir in the peas, the Parmesan and pesto - season with salt and pepper. Let the risotto rest while you sear the scallops.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed skillet. Generously salt and pepper one side of each scallop and place in the hot skillet. Cook for about 1 - 2 minutes per side, then remove with tongs and serve with the risotto.