RISOTTO WITH PEAS AND SHRIMP

I grew up eating risotto much more frequently than pasta and this is why I love it to this day. Just like pasta, risotto is very versatile - it can be eaten just the way it is, simple and satisfying, or can lend itself to many flavour bases such as meats, vegetables, fish or seafood, even made into puddings. Cooking risotto definitely requires a bit of attention, but the result is totally worth it!

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HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED:

For risotto:

1 cup arborio rice (or Carnaroli)

3 - 4 cups of stock (beef, vegetable or chicken)

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

1/2 medium onion, chopped finely

1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano

salt

 

For peas and shrimp:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic clives, peeled and smashed

1 pound shrimp, peeled and cleaned

1 1/2 cups peas (frozen or fresh)

1 cup fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped (I used cherry tomatoes, halved)

1 - 1 1/2 cup white wine

2 tablespoons Worcester sauce

salt

sweet paprika

pepper

fresh basil

 

 

 

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In a separate pan, bring stock to boil, then turn down to low simmer - this is your liquid for risotto.

Place olive oil (or butter) in a separate pot and heat to medium high, then add onion and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes). Add rice and stir well so all the grains are coated in oil. Add a ladle of hot stock (about 1/2 cup) and stir constantly, making sure rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the liquid is absorbed, then add another ladle of stock and continue repeating this process, constantly stirring, until rice is cooked (25 - 30 minutes, but start tasting at 20 minute mark for doneness until you are happy with it). It should be soft, but still "al dente" - firm to the bite. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some water to finish the cooking. Every time you make risotto, the amount of liquid you use will be different, depending on the rice and absorption.

Adjust the seasoning, it may not need any, depending on the saltiness of the stock. Don't forget, you will be adding some parmigiano at the end, too!

At that point, risotto should't be runny, but it should be moist.

Turn off the heat and stir grated parmigiano into the rice, cover and let stand for a few moments, then serve with extra cheese on the side.

***When rice is at about half way point, start preparing peas and shrimp.

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a separate pan, then add tomatoes and crushed garlic. Stir for a few moments and add the shrimp. Season with salt, pepper and sweet paprika, stir until shrimp is slightly browned. Pour in white wine and Worcester sauce, stirring until alcohol evaporates (a couple of minutes), than add peas and cook until just heated through. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Serve by placing some risotto on a plate and topping it with peas and shrimp and some fresh basil.