I made this recipe for shrimp risotto a few months ago when Fava Beans were full on in season. If you made it today I suggest perhaps substituting fresh shucked peas or maybe even fresh garbanzos . I see the fresh garbanzos in the local Latin markets all the time. If one were to tabulate the top all time carb loaded comfort foods, risotto would be right up there. The beauty of Risotto is that’s a vessel for all sorts of protein and ingredients. The possibilities are endless. With fall approaching imagine the butternut squash risottos coming along. One of my favorite risottos is one made with Barolo wine with shavings of cheese. I must make that for the blog one day. I’m getting into an Italian frame of mind as Certain Someone and I are leaving for Rome next month. I’m literally counting the days and hours. Aside from a sleepy border town on my way driving to Lugano, I have never really been to to Italy.
A proper Risotto, which is actually Northern Italian in origin, requires a semi soft grained rice like Arborio, Carnaroli, or less common Vialone. These rice varieties are high in starch content and more glutenous. For this Risotto I used Carnaroli, which is pricier than Arborio, but preferred for risotto. The grains cooks soft , yet retain their shape and firmness throughout the process.The key to Risotto is to slowly simmer your rice and ingredients while slowly adding small batches of liquid stock, while constantly stirring.The effort yields a rich, creamy and satisfying dish. Yet its not complicated at all. I like to use leftover risotto to make a breaded fried rice ball called Arancini. Imagine a dinner al fresco with some cold crisp Prosecco to wash it all down with.
- 2 1/4 cups Carnaroli rice
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups fish or vegetable stock *I made my own from leftover fish bones and heads after filleting.
- 1 lb fresh , deveined, shelled shrimp coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cups broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup shelled Fava beans or peas
- Sea Salt to taste
- White Pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- In a skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium high heat until melted.
- Add minced garlic and soften.
- Add Carnaroli rice and heat for a few minutes to allow the flavors of the garlic and oils to coat to the grains. Stir while cooking.
- Add salt, pepper,thyme.
- Add about 3/4 cup of the stock as it slowly simmers while stirring. The rice will absorb the liquid.
- Add the raw shrimp that has been chopped coarsely, broccoli, and shelled fava beans or peas. Stir into rice mixture and add another cup of fish stock.
- Continue to add the remaining liquid slowly , as the rice absorbs the liquid as you stir constantly.
- The shrimp will lose its opaqueness and turn pink as the rice cooks slowly and takes in the liquid.
- Serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese