A deliciously satisfying risotto, as an appetizer it will serve six, as a main course, four. Accompany it with a mixed salad dressed in olive oil and lemon juice, fresh Italian bread and ecco, a scrumptious meal.
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled, vein removed and cut in half lengthwise, or 1 lb frozen shrimp-defrosted and halved
3 T extra virgin olive oil or butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cup Arborio rice 1 medium fresh ripe tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
4 to 5 cups chicken broth and water, half of each salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Saucepan for broth, heavy saucepan with cover for risotto.
Bring the broth to a simmer in a saucepan, reduce the heat and keep hot throughout the cooking process.
Heat 1 T of cooking fat in a heavy saucepan large enough to accommodate the rice and broth.
Add the shrimp and sauté over medium heat, stirring for a minute or so. Remove and set aside.
Sauté the onion and garlic in the rest of the oil, butter or combination of both, stirring occasionally until onions are transparent and just starting to color, about 5 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring till rice is well coated with the fat, about 3 minutes.
Add the wine and the tomato, cook over medium heat till wine is absorbed.
Add one cup of the hot broth, stirring continuously as it cooks over medium heat. Loosen the rice from the sides and bottom of the pan using a wooden fork rather than spoon as it is less likely to break the grains of rice.
The rice should cook at a steady, lively simmer.
Now add half a cup of the broth at a time as it is absorbed, stirring constantly and lessening the amount of liquid added as you go along so as not to overcook the rice. The rice must cook at exactly the right heat, not too low and not too high.
When the rice has cooked for 20 minutes, add shrimp and chopped parsley, continue to simmer over low heat At 25 minutes, test for doneness.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Rice is ready when it is al dente, with a slight bite to it, tender and creamy but not mushy or sticky.
When done, turn off the heat, stir in the cheese, cover and let sit for a 3or 4 minutes before serving.