Risotto with pesto genovese and peas

Authentic Italian cooking is not what you think it is… too many people throw in way too many ingredients and it gets too complicated. The best Italian is always incredibly simple, with a short list of ingredients. This dish is so full of flavour, you don’t need to add anything else to it. But if you’re like Jonathan and need meat in your life, you can easily add some (on the side).

Italian dishes shine when the ingredients are of very high quality, and the dish is prepared with love and care.

Barilla Pesto Genovese is as authentic as you can get! It’s made from real Italian basil, and this classic sauce comes from the region of Liguria in the north east of Italy, where risotto is often loved even more than pasta! In fact, you can use this pesto in so many ways, of course pasta is delicious but you can also use it as a dip, spread on sandwiches, or tossed through a potato salad.

Kimberley and Jonathan love italian food, but they are busy parents, so this shortcut is perfect for them. Their son is gluten free and tends to have allergies to food additives, so this pesto is perfect – it’s free of preservatives.

Sunrice Arborio rice is very important in this dish, it‘s a shorter grain rice with a starchy texture – this gives the risotto it’s creamy consistency. It’s important to “fry” the rice before you start adding the stock, so that it retains its shape better.

Watch us teach Kimberley and Jonathan this recipe on Episode 4 of Kitchen Rescue on TenPlay

Risotto with pesto genovese and peas


Cooked in30 minutes



• 1 brown onion
• 2 cloves garlic
• 3 Tbsp Lurpak butter
• 200g Sunrice Arborio rice
• 1 litre vegetable stock, kept warm
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 1/2 jar Barilla Pesto Genovese
• Parmesan cheese, to taste


1. Finely chop the onion and garlic using the Philips opti chop attachment to the hand blender. Add to a large pot along with butter on medium heat and cook until soft and translucent but not caramelised.
2. Add rice, and cook for a further 5 minutes or so until the rice becomes pearlescent.
3. Once pearlescent, start to add the hot vegetable stock, a ladle full at a time while stirring constantly. Ensure that the liquid has been absorbed before you add more stock.
4. When the rice is cooked through, add the peas and Barilla pesto genovene, stir and take off the heat.
5. Serve with parmesan cheese.

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