Broth for Risotto

The broth makes the flavor more intense. Vegetable or chicken broth is suitable. You can get ready-made broth from the store.  If I don’t have broth, I boil it quickly while I fry the onions for the risotto. See what you can find in the refrigerator.


1 onion, 1 small carrot, and, if you have it, 1 celery stalk or piece of celery root, parsnip, or parsley will do. You can trim the stems from the parsley greens and add them too. Add bay leaf, black pepper, and peppercorns. You can add a couple of chicken bones or wings.

  1. Chop all the vegetables and roots coarsely.
  2. Pour 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil into a pot and quickly sauté the vegetables and bones over high heat.
  3. Add 1 liter of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes over low heat. Don’t add salt.


The most popular 3 varieties of rice for risotto are Arborio, Carnaroli, and Vialone. My favorite variety is Carnaroli. It has an elongated grain and the most starch, which gives a wonderful creamy texture.

Enveloping. Instead of burrata, you can use soft fresh mozzarella, stracciatella, or even ricotta. 

Green basil pesto risotto with asparagus and burrata


Green basil pesto risotto with asparagus and burrata
Green risotto with asparagus, pesto and burrata
10 minutes 20-30 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 160 g (¾ cup, 5.6 oz) Carnaroli rice
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil for frying
  • 40 g (2 tbsp) butter
  • 40 g (5 tbsp) Parmesan, grated
  • 80 ml (5 tbsp) slightly tart dry white wine
  • 600 ml (2½ cup) vegetable or chicken broth (see the recipe above)
  • 8-10 asparagus stalks
  • 1 burrata
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 big bunch of basil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil


1. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Pour 3 tbsp olive oil for frying into a large skillet or wide, thick-bottomed pot. Fry the onions over low heat until soft. The onions shouldn’t change color much. It takes about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes more.

2. Add the rice to the pan. The rice should be completely coated with oil. Sauté, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.

3. Pour in the wine and evaporate it completely. This will take another minute.

The broth should simmer lightly on the stove at all times.

4. Add 2 ladles of broth and a big pinch of salt. Turn down the heat and time it for exactly 10 minutes. The risotto takes a total of 14 minutes to cook. 

Pour the broth through a sieve to strain the vegetables out.

5. Stir the risotto frequently and vigorously. The rice should not dry out. Add 1-2 ladles of broth as soon as the liquid boils. Now is the time for pesto and asparagus.

6. Asparagus. Break off the ends of the asparagus. Carefully trim it. If the asparagus is fibrous, use a vegetable peeler to peel the top layer off the ends. Cut asparagus stalks into 3-4 pieces.

7. Basil pesto. Set aside some basil leaves for decoration. Place the remaining basil into the small bowl of a food processor, along with 1 tbsp pine nuts. Add a pinch of salt, lemon juice, and 2 tsp olive oil. Grind (you can also make pesto in a mortar).

8. Let’s go back to the risotto after 10 minutes. Now there should be a little more water in the risotto than you would like to have in the finished dish. Add the asparagus, and bury it in the rice. Cook for 3 minutes.

9. Add the butter and mix it very vigorously into the rice. When the butter is completely dissolved, add the grated parmesan. Also stir vigorously for about 1 minute and remove from the heat.

10. Let the risotto stand for 1 minute. Then add the pesto and stir. Pepper. Taste it and add salt, if necessary.

11. Arrange on plates.

To evenly distribute the risotto, place a towel on your work surface and tap the bottom of the plate with risotto on the table.

12. Cut the burrata into 2 pieces and break into large pieces with your hands. Place on top of the risotto, sprinkle with pine nuts and basil leaves.

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I'm Alona Bogdanova – cookbooks writer from Ukraine. I create and photograph gourmet, approachable and exciting recipes for every day.

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