Pasta, Risotto and You

By Nancy Caivano


Risotto al Natale

Christmas Risotto
Serves 6



1/2 lb. fresh scallops (you can use large sea scallops,
    or small bay scallops—the bays make a prettier presentation)
6 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped (or 2 tsp. jar chopped garlic)
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups simmering chicken stock
1/2 cup pesto sauce (either your own, or store bought)
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
4 tbsp. butter
1 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)


In a large skillet, heat 2-tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat, until very hot. Add scallops, and sear on both sides, until well browned. Remove and set aside. (Note—if using sea scallops, quarter them; if using bay scallops they will brown very quickly, be careful of burning, leave them whole.)

In large saucepan heat 4-tbsp. olive oil. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until onion is translucent. Add rice, sauté 5 minutes more, making sure rice does not brown. Add wine, stirring constantly until entirely absorbed. Add stock, 1/2 cup at a time until absorbed, before adding next addition. After fourth addition of stock, begin tasting rice—rice should be al dente when done. You need to keep tasting rice because, depending on rice, you may or may not need all of the stock. After fourth addition of rice is absorbed, add scallops.

When last addition of stock is absorbed, stir in pesto sauce and roasted pepper. Remove from heat, and add butter and grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

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Pasta, Risotto and You


This page created December 1998

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