Pesto and Pancetta Risotto with Steamed Plaice and a Lemon Butter

Despite being a risotto this dish doesn’t feel too rich as the pesto and plaice are both quite light. You could even do it as a starter if you cut down on the quantities a little. This recipe will serve 2.


You will need

For the Pesto

60g Fresh Basil

1 Garlic Clove

6-8 tbs Good Olive Oil

1 tbs Parmesan

1/2 tbs Toasted Pine Nuts (dry fry in a pan for a couple of minutes)

Salt and Pepper


1. Add all the ingredients in to a blender and blitz until sort of like a mint sauce consistency. If you think the mix is a little stiff just add more olive oil.


For the Risotto

200g Arborio Rice

Pint of good Chicken Stock

4 Skinless Plaice Fillets

75g Pancetta

2 Banana Shallots

1 tsp Pine Nuts

Zest of 1/2 Lemon

1 Tbs Butter


To make the Risotto

1. Finely dice the shallots and gently sweat for a minute before adding in the rice. Cook the rice until the edges go slightly translucent. You can then start adding the hot stock one ladle at a time while stirring continuously. As the rice has almost absorbed all the stock add another ladle at a time until the rice is cooked.

2. Take your plaice fillets and season with a little salt then on one side grate over a little lemon zest. Roll so the lemon is on the inside then hold in place with a cocktail stick. Cook in your steamer for about 8 minutes or if you don’t have one make a tin foil parcel and cook in the oven for about the same amount of time on 180 degrees.

3. In a hot pan fry off the pancetta and then drain on some kitchen foil. Add 3-4 tbs of the pesto mix to the rice and stir well. Mix in the pancetta and a little extra parmesan if desired.

4. Place the risotto in a bowl and top with a couple of plaice fillets. To dress the fish take the zest of half a lemon and 1 tbs and melt either in the microwave or in a pan and drizzle over. Finally scatter over a few extra pine nuts.






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