In a formal Italian meal, risotto is served as a primo or first course and then the secondi or meat course follows. Obviously there is a lot of eating over the course of the evening /night happens. I like the risotto to stand on its own so I pack it with lots of flavour even though I say so myself! I may serve a small starter or a dessert when I make risotto.
This was a big hit with my family and I urge you to try it. The success of your risotto depends on your stock. I like to make my own stocks and if you are after any stock recipes, hit the search bar.
300g Carnaroli or Arborio rice (risotto rice)
400g large or jumbo prawns, (16-20 numbers)
150ml dry white wine
1.125 litre fish stock preferably home made
40g butter, divided
20ml olive oil
1.5 cups thawed peas, divided
2 tablespoons parsley pesto
150g finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon microplaned garlic
1-2 red chillies, finely chopped
½ teaspoon white pepper
Freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste
Coarsely process half the peas along with the pesto in a food processor. Set aside. Microwave your stock and keep ready.
Heat the olive oil in a wide sauté pan. Add half the butter and when it is frothing, throw in the onion. Fry for three or four minutes, then toss the garlic in along with the chilli and white pepper. Fry for a couple of minutes and add the rice. Mix well so every grain of rice is well coated with the aromatics.
Pour the wine in and deglaze. Once the wine has evaporated, slowly start adding the stock, a ladle at a time. Continue mixing with every ladle and ensure that all the stock is well incorporated before adding another. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time on medium heat until all the stock is used up. The whole process should take about twenty minutes or so and the rice is no longer chalky. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the prawns, whole peas and the processed pea mix with the last ladle of stock.
Continue cooking for a further two minutes or so until the prawns are tender. Cube the remaining butter and mix in the risotto just before serving. Garnish with freshly milled pepper. Serves 4 as a main course.