Basil is my favorite herb.  Period.  I wish it were a perennial.  There’s always tons in my “orto” and I’m constantly looking for new ways to use it.   I’ve made Pesto alla Genovese for pasta many times already this summer and when I was recently contemplating doing it again, one of my sons said “Why not make a pesto risotto?”    And so and so……..
Risotto alla Pesto Genovese
This “recipe” is more a fusion of two different recipes I’ve already published here;  Pesto alla Genovese and Basic Risotto.  Since I’ve linked those two articles,  I’ll refer to them loosely in this recipe. 
1 Pesto Preparation
2 Cups Arborio Rice
1 Pound Sweet Italian Sausage
2 Medium Shallots, diced
Splash Dry White Wine
32oz. Chicken Broth
Warm the stock over a low heat.  Grill the sausage and set aside to cool.  Once cool enough to handle, slice cross wise and set aside.  
Begin the Risotto by sauteing the shallot in a bit of olive oil.  Add the rice and toast for a few minutes and then deglaze the pan with the wine.  Begin adding the stock one ladle at a time, per the technique in the Basic Risotto Recipe.   About half way through the cooking of the rice,  add the Pesto. 


~ You can see the creaminess of the rice beginning and the Pesto adds a ton of flavor.  Since it already contains cheese, garlic and pine nuts,  I don’t add much seasoning to the Risotto ~
Once the rice is almost cooked through  (Al dente) add the sausage to the pan and stir through.  This will warm the sausage without imparting a grilled flavor to the overall dish.  If you’re not a fan of the sausage, you can easily omit it.   I added it to make the entree more substantial.   
Once the sausage warms through and the rice is cooked;  serve immediately.  Pass Pecorino cheese at the table and garnish with Basil Leaves.  


~ Risotto con Pesto alla Genovese e Salsicce ~
What to drink?  We paired this dish very successfully with the Lisini San Biagio  however many options will work such as Barbera d’Alba, Chianti Classico or Colli Senesi and Montefalco Rosso would also be excellent. 


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