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David Rocco’s Risotto with Shrimp and Lemon Sauce

David Rocco’s Risotto with Shrimp and Lemon Sauce

Looking for a great dish to make this long weekend? Celebrity Chef David Rocco first enjoyed this recipe on the Amalfi coast, where they are blessed with fresh fabulous seafood and where lemons are abundant. The dish uses the zest and juice of two lemons and his suggestion is that you zest them first. Make sure you time the cooking of the shrimp so that it finishes just before the risotto is ready. You want to make sure that the shrimp stay juicy and firm. Buon appetito and have a great long weekend!

You’ll need:

  • For the Shrimp
  • 1 lb (450 g) large shrimp, peeled
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic whole cloves, crushed
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • salt, QB
  • mint, (optional)
  • For the Risotto
  • 1 lb (450 g) Italian rice
  • 4 cups (1 L) vegetable broth or fish stock
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots or 1 medium white onion, minced
  • 1 cup (225 ml) white wine
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
  • 1/2 cup (110 ml) finely grated fresh parmigiano

Peel shrimp, removing the shell and the tail. To remove the dark vein, make a shallow cut down the back with a paring knife, scoop it out and discard. Cut the shrimp into thirds and set aside.

You want the shrimp to be ready just before the risotto is finished. The shrimp will take 3-5 minutes to cook, so have everything ready to go and start the shrimp after your risotto has been cooking for about 11 or 12 minutes.

To cook the shrimp, heat up a frying pan. Add in olive oil and the whole crushed garlic. The garlic is just there to flavor the oil and will be removed from the final dish. Fry the garlic for a minute or two until its lightly browned. Then add in the shrimp and the lemon juice and toss the shrimp until it turns pink. Immediately remove from the so that they stop cooking, and remove and discard the garlic.

In the meantime, make your risotto. Heat broth or stock up to a low simmer.

The first step is to make a soffritto or flavor base. Pour olive oil into your pan, and on medium heat add in your shallots or white onion and gently sauté until they become sweet and soft. Be careful not to brown them.

Turn up the heat to medium high, add in the rice and stir so that all the grains of rice are coated in the olive oil. Cook until the rice becomes translucent. Add in your wine, which should be at room temperature, and let that get fully absorbed by the rice. ( if you’re using water instead of broth an extra splash of wine doesn’t hurt). At this point you’ll start seeing some of the creaminess coming out of the rice and the smell will be incredible.

Now you’re ready to start adding in your liquid. So, take a ladleful of the simmering water or broth, and a good pinch of salt, add it to the rice and stir to mix. Let that cook until the rice absorbs the water. Add another ladleful and stir and wait until that is absorbed. You want to give it a stir every couple of minutes to encourage the starches out of the rice, and also so that nothing is tempted to stick. You will see the dish start to get creamy. Taste as you go along and if you need more salt, add more! Continue to add water by the ladleful until the rice is al dente, cooked, but slightly chewy, and the entire dish is creamy. This will take about 16-18 minutes. As for when to stop putting in the liquid? Risotto can be dense and somewhat dry, or somewhat soupy, or as the Italians say al’ onda – like a wave when you tap the pot. It’s all personal preference.

Just before you add your last ladle of broth, add in the shrimp with the lemon juice, and mix. And let the shrimp and the risotto finish cooking so the flavors come together until the risotto is done.

Take it off the heat, add in the lemon zest, butter, freshly grated parmigiano and parsley if you like, and mix well.

David Rocco/2016