For the basil sauce
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the risotto
- 6 cups chicken stock, hot
- 2 ears corn, kernels removed and cobs scraped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup pancetta, cubed (optional)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 ½ cups arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano rice
- ¾ cup dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To make the sauce, process all the ingredients together.
To make the risotto, heat the stock with the cobs to simmer to infuse the corn flavor. Heat the olive oil in another large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent. Add the pancetta and cook for 2 minutes or so until cooked.
Increase the heat to medium, add the rice and stir until the rice is completely coated with oil, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook stirring until the wine has almost evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add a ladleful of chicken stock and stir steadily to keep the rice from sticking. Continue to add the chicken stock a little at a time, stirring until the chicken stock is gone and the rice starts to soften, 18 to 22 minutes. Add the corn and continue to cook until all of the stock is incorporated, the corn is tender and the rice is creamy and tender (10 to 15 minutes).
Remove the pan from the heat; add the butter and the Parmigiano Reggiano. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir quickly, cover and let sit covered off the heat for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, stir the risotto.
Serve immediately with the sauce (if desired).