Pesto Risotto with Seared Scallops and a Proscuitto Chip

I love risotto. It is easy to whip up for one (or many) and can be made with whatever is left in the fridge... and my does it look fancy, especially with some scallops on top. The key is to give your risotto constant love and attention. It isn't hard to make, it just requires all hands on deck for a good 40 minutes. Good news is you only need one hand to stir- other can hold a glass of wine. 


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups (or more) hot chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan 
  • 1 jar pesto (see recipe below or can be store bought)
  • 1 piece per person prosciutto
  • 1 bunch micro-greens 
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 3 scallops per person
  • salt and pepper



  • Melt half of butter (2 Tbsp) in a heavy saucepan over med. heat.
  • Add onion and soften (about five min).
  • Add rice; stir and toast for a couple of minutes.
  • Add wine and cook until almost all liquid is absorbed. Stir constantly!
  • Add 1 cup hot broth. Simmer until broth is almost absorbed (KEEP STIRRING!!! You don’t want any to stick to the bottom)
  • Add more broth, 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding.. stirring the whole time!
  • You know it’s done when risotto is tender and mixture is creamy.
  • Take off heat and add the Parmesan and salt & pepper to taste.

for the rest:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.. when ready put prosciutto on a baking tray and put in oven for ten minutes until crunchy like a chip. Put aside
  • snap ends off asparagus.
  • I cooked mine in the hot chicken broth i used for the risotto. Steam for 3-4 mins
  • Take them out and shock them in a bowl of ice water. It keeps them crunchy!
  • Cook scallops last in a hot pa with olive oil. Do 2 mins each side till they have a nice color. Overcooking them will end up with you chewing on a rubber band- quite unpleasant. 
  • Plate and serve!!!!

My Mum's Pesto Recipe (you can use store bought but just in case you have basil to use up...)


  • 4 cups packed fresh basil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2 and 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups grated pecorino (romano or parmesan is fine)
  • salt to taste


  • Put garlic, cheese, and nuts into a food processor. Pulse until sand-like texture.
  • Add Basil. pulse again.
  • Pour oil in batches. add a little. pulse (and so on)
  • Add salt to taste
  • Use on your pasta (you can dilute it with a little water that you cook your pasta in) or put in a jar and put in fridge/freezer for later.
Posted on July 31, 2015 and filed under main event, pasta, sauces, world travel.