Pesto Shrimp and Rapini Barley Risotto

Andrea Falcone Recipes Leave a Comment

If you know me, and follow my blog, you may be pretty familiar with my love for pesto! Just check out this recipe here….oh and this one here too. And to prep you for gardening season, have a read here! When you have an overabundance of basil growing in the garden during the summer, it can be difficult to use it all up at once, but preserving it into homemade pesto is a great opportunity to quickly flavour up any dish when needed! Check out one of my favourite pesto recipes here.  This past Friday night was one of those evenings where I thought I had to stop at the grocery store….but a quick scan in my head of what was in the freezer, topped with an extra green veggie I had picked up earlier in the week, I was set for dinner!

Serves: 4


  • 1 Cup Dried Barley
  • 2½ -3 Cups Water
  • ½ Cup Dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Bunch Rapini
  • 16 Large Shrimp, thawed, shelled and de-veined
  • 1½ Cups Frozen Green Peas, thawed
  • ⅓ Cup Pesto
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil for flavor
  • Grated Fresh Parmesan Cheese


  1. Rinse 1 Cup of Barley and place in a large saucepan with 2 Cups of water (*note, you would normally need 3 Cups of water, but in this case, we are making risotto, so check out below). Place on high heat and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, remove the lid and lower heat to medium-low to continue cooking for about 30 minutes. Prepare the remainder of the dish as per the directions below, while keeping an eye on the barley. As the barley soaks up the water, add about ½ Cup of water at a time until the barley is cooked, including ½ Cup dry white wine in there too!
  2. Meanwhile, wash and trim the rapini, cutting slits at the bottoms of the stems to help release some of the bitterness as they steam, and soften quicker.
  3. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil for the rapini. Once boiled, add the rapini and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove and allow to drain in a colander.
  4. Cook the shrimp in a small fry pan. Once cooked, leave aside.
  5. Reserve 8 whole shrimps if you’d like to top each portion off at the end.  Chop up the rapine and remaining shrimp into small pieces.
  6. Once you add the last ½ Cup of water to the barley, add the green peas, pesto, and salt into the saucepan mixing all ingredients together. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes. *Keep an eye on the barley making sure it doesn’t dry up, adding a bit more water (or vegetable broth) if needed.
  7. Add the rapini and shrimp pieces and stir to combine.
  8. Serve into individual plates, topping with 2 shrimp and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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