Thursday, June 29, 2006

Risotto Scampi e Asparagi – Risotto Shrimp and Asparagus

Risotto with small shrimp and asparagus is a delightful summer dish. Delicate and balanced, the combination of creamy risotto, without any cream, the luxurious taste of small shrimp and the delicately earthy flavor of asparagus make Risotto with Shrimp and Asparagus a perfect side for any seafood or vegetable entrée. Raffaella has been perfecting this recipe for many years. Unfortunately the perfect balance is not obtained just throwing things together as you would a normal risotto.

The Asparagus release the most flavor and balance the risotto when cooked from the beginning however not all parts of the asparagus cook at the same rate. Consistency and texture are just as important as flavor. The small shrimp provide the same difficulties. It is important that the flavor of the shrimp penetrates the risotto however if you cook whole shrimp for 27 minutes they will be more cardboard than delicate pearls of flavor from the sea.

Ingredients for 4 people:

1 lb (450 gr.) Arborio Rice
1 lb (450 gr.) Raw Shrimp
1 lb (450 gr.) Fresh Asparagus
¼ cup Butter (1/2 stick)
1 glass Pinot Grigio
1 medium Onion diced
1 ¼ quart (1 ½ liters) Vegetable Broth
2 tbs. Grated Reggiano Parmesan Cheese
1 tbs. Butter


Prepare the vegetable broth over medium high heat. Bring the broth to a boil and turn the heat to low.

Remove the shells from the shrimp. Mince ½ of the shrimp in a food processor. Leave the remaining shrimp tails whole.

Clean and pat dry the Asparagus. Lay flat on a cutting board. Cut and throw away the lower 1/5 of the Asparagus. Cut the tips and place them in bowl and set aside. Cut the remaining stalks into ½ inch pieces.

In a heavy pot place the butter, onions and asparagus pieces. Sautee over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Pour the rice into the onion-asparagus mixture and stir for about 1-2 minutes until the rice is completely covered with the butter and is sizzling.

Pour the glass of wine into the pot. Be careful, the wine will steam up and is very hot. Toast the rice mixture for about 1 minute until the wine is ½ reduced. This creates a shell around the rice allowing it to cook, release the starches while maintaining its consistency.

Add 1 ladle of broth and stir into the rice. Add the pure’ of shrimp to the rice. Stir approximately every 30 seconds. Set the timer for 9 minutes. As the broth consumes the liquid add additional broth 1 ladle at a time. Remember to stir at least once every 30 seconds. Continue with this process until the timer goes off.

Set the timer for 6 minutes. Add the Asparagus tips. Continue adding broth, 1 ladle at a time, for the remaining 6 minutes.

Set the timer at 3 minutes. Add the whole shrimp. Continue adding broth, 1 ladle at a time, for the remaining 3 minutes.

Turn the heat off. Add the Reggiano Parmesan cheese and the 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir and let sit for 2 minutes.

Serve hot immediately.

This is a delicate dish with a wide variety of flavors. A good Pinot Grigio is appropriate.


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Blogger RennyBA said...

Your posts are great and the food looks deliceous - it always makes me wanting to travel in Italy. I've listed you on my blog now.
Thanks for your nice comments on my blog too!
Btw: I'm gone golfing for this summer, but see you later:-)

2:30 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Renny - Have a great time golfing!

6:13 AM


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