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Playing Risotto with Peas and Shrimp


  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • A few springs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) and juiced (about1/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh peas or frozen shelled peas, preferably organic
  • A handful of flat-leaf parsley tops
  • 1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • About 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Serves: 4


In a small pot, heat the stock over low.
In a round-bottom pot or pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil, one turn of the pan, over medium high. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until tender, 2-3 minutes. Add rice to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the rice s coated, about a minute. Add wine, thyme and lemon zest. Cook while stirring until the rice absorbs the wine, about 2 minutes.

Start adding the stock a couple of ladles at a time, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon after each addition. Let the rice absorb the stock between additions. From the time you start adding the stock, the dish should take exactly 18 minutes until the rice reaches al dente. You will use all 6 cups of the stock.
In a food processor, pulse half the peas with the parsley until finely chopped; season with salt. Chop half the shrimp into small pieces.
In a small skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon oil, one turn of the pan, over medium-high. Add the whole shrimp and cook until pink and firm, about 2 minutes; season to taste.
During the last 3 minutes of cooking the rice, add the finely chopped pea mixture, the whole peas and the chopped shrimp; add butter and cheese. Cook, stirring often, until shrimp are pink and firm, and the risotto is creamy.
Stir in the lemon juice and serve the risotto in shallow bowls topped with some of the whole shrimp.


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