Cooking Italian is a craftsman’s labour, the work of an Artisan of Flavour.
This is a fine delicate dish that anyone with a bit of confidence around the hobs can cook. The key is to organise the work before getting involved with the tasks as you will need to manage up to three different saucepans at the same time and also be very accurate with your timing. The result won’t let you down: this risotto is definitely worth the little effort. Not to mention it can have quite the romantic look…
Ready in: 45min
Ingredients to serve 2
. Carnaroli rice (160g)
. Prawns (200g)
. Shallots (3)
. Carrots (1 medium)
. Lemon juice (two spoons)
. Lemon zest
. White wine (125ml)
. Vegetable stock cube (1)
. Butter (25g)
Start by blending the shallots and the carrot with a food processor. If you haven’t got one, a bit of chopping will easily do the job. In the meantime melt a vegetable stock cube in 700ml of water while in another pot you cook the prawns for 8-10 minutes by boiling them on a medium heat. You will need the stock to cook the rice at a later stage.
Put a different big pot on medium heat and melt 15g of butter. Add the carrot and shallot mix and stir for a few minutes. Then add the rice and stir from time to time. There is almost no melted butter at all in the bigger pot now: this is to toast the grains and add a bit of more complex flavour to the rice. A few minutes are enough and you will recognise the rice is toasted properly by the typical smell of toasted grain.
Pour 125ml of white wine (a glass), squeeze half of the lemon and add the grated lemon zest in the big pot. Stir fry a bit then leave the rice to cook in the wine for 4-6 minutes. The prawns should be cooked by now and you stock ready to be used. When the wine starts to dry off pour the stock with a ladle. Not all at once: do it gradually and do so for as many times as you need. The rice will absorb part of the stock while part will dry off. Don’t turn up the heat to make the process faster: always leave it on low to medium.
Half way through add the prawns to the main pot and when you rice is almost perfectly cooked add another 10g of butter. Stir for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat, arrange into a dish, grind black pepper generously and leave to cool for a moment. Then, enjoy with a glass of good white wine with high acidity and some green fruit character.