Asparagus and Parsley Pesto Risotto Bake Recipe

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (32 fluid ounce) container vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1 lemon, peel grated
  • 1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a heavy ovenproof pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until translucent and softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and rice; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the rice is toasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the broth and 1 1/4 cups water. Transfer immediately to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, using a food processor, finely chop the parsley, 1/2 cup Parmesan, the pine nuts and the lemon peel. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and process until blended. Set the pesto aside.
  3. Remove the risotto from the oven and stir in the asparagus and the remaining cup Parmesan. Continue to bake until the rice is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved pesto and serve with extra Parmesan.