Sunday, March 3, 2019

Parmesan Risotto with Pancetta Asparagus and Shrimp

A trick I learned to cook shrimp evenly and quick is to cut them in half, lengthwise. Make sure you season them with salt and pepper and sauté them in a hot skillet with olive oil and vegetable oil. Why both? Olive oil has more flavor but will smoke faster or has a low smoke point, by adding vegetable oil that has a high smoke point to the olive oil, the olive oil will have a higher smoke point.

If you like Risotto you’ll love this dish. Let me know if you try it. Serves 4 Total Time: about 45 minutes


6-7 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 cup dry white wine (soak the saffron in the wine)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 oz pancetta, diced
2 medium shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
12 oz medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half lengthwise
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 stalks of asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1-2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

In your Dutch Oven add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. On med/high heat cook your pancetta until crispy, then add in your shallots and garlic, stir to combine. Cook until the shallots are soft, 3 minutes. Add in your rice and stir until well coated, then add in the wine with the saffron, cook until the wine is absorbed, about 3 more minutes.

Now pour in some broth and let it absorb before you add in more. Repeat until all the broth is absorbed into the rice, this can take 20-25 minutes. And remember: STIR CONTINUOUSLY! When the broth is gone taste test to see if the rice is done. It shouldn’t be chewy, but not mushy either. Mine was not done and I had to add about a cup of water. Add in the asparagus, remove from heat, cover and set aside.

In a skillet add in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. While the oil is cooking on med/high heat season your shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the shrimp to the hot skillet and stir until they are pink and opaque.

Add the shrimp, butter and Parmesan cheese to the Risotto and stir to combine until cheese has melted. Taste test to see if you need any additional salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Yum Yum!

You need a Dutch Oven to make this dish

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