I woke up this morning with risotto on my mind. Creamy and buttery risotto topped with pan seared jumbo shrimp, fresh basil and grated parmesan, to be exact.
Yes, in my world, this is a completely normal craving to have at 7 am.
Risotto used to be one of those dishes that intimidated me from the beginning. I’d hear about how easy it is to undercook or overcook, and that all the liquid had to be absorbed in a certain amount of time. But over time I’ve learned to just take a deep breath and relax, take a sip (swig) from the white wine I’m about to use, and taste test it along the way. It’s surprisingly easy to gauge if you need to increase or decrease the heat if the liquid is absorbing too fast, if you need to add more broth if the rice is too firm, or to hold back on the liquid if it’s getting too tender.
I’ve made different variations of risotto, but I always come back to this recipe. The ingredients are basic, but so flavorful. And it tastes great reheated. As someone who needs little variety and can eat the same meal for an entire week, I love recipes that taste even better as leftovers!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb large or jumbo shrimp, deveined and peeled
- 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 cup chopped basil, plus more for sprinkling
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Rinse the shrimp and pat it dry. In a deep sautée pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, then add shrimp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let cook on both sides until opaque through the middle, about 3-4 minutes. Set the shrimp aside.
- In a separate saucepan, warm the chicken broth on low heat.
- Return to the sautée pan and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add dry Arborio rice and stir it around for 1-2 minutes, until edges are translucent, but be careful not to burn it. Add the wine and gently stir, deglazing the pan until wine is completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.
- Add 3/4 cup chicken broth. Simmer until broth is almost entirely absorbed, about 2 minutes, stirring often. Continue to add broth 3/4 cups at a time, stirring often, and waiting until it's nearly absorbed. If the broth is evaporating quickly, turn the heat down until you just see a slight simmer. The entire cooking process should take around 20 minutes. At the 14-15 minute mark, taste the rice to see how far it is has cooked. The risotto should have some bite and be chewy, but the dish should taste like a creamy porridge. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
- Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the parmesan and basil. Pour into bowls and top with shrimp, and additional parmesan and basil as garnish. Serve warm.