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Shrimp Risotto

For the shrimp stock:
2 tablespoonsvegetable oil
3 poundshead-on, extra-jumbo Gulf shrimp
2 smallcarrots, peeled and diced
2 smallonions, peeled and diced
2 stalkscelery, diced
1 to 2 tablespoonstomato paste (optional; the version I had in Venice used it, but the risotto won't suffer without it)
7 cupscold water
1bay leaf
To tasteSalt and freshly ground black pepper
For the shrimp risotto:
1 1/2 poundextra-jumbo shrimp reserved from the stock
5 tablespoonsunsalted butter
1 tablespoonminced shallot
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Shrimp Risotto - Ingredients Continued

2 teaspoonsminced garlic
2 cupshigh-quality imported risotto rice, such as Vialone Nano, Carnaroli, or Arborio
1/3 cupdry white wine
shrimp stock
4 tablespoonschopped parsley
To tasteSalt and freshly ground pepper
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Shrimp Risotto - Instructions

Make the shrimp stock:
Remove the heads from the shrimp (to do this, grab right behind the gills with your
index finger and thumb and twist off the body). Peel the shrimp and reserve the heads,
the shells, and the shrimp in separate piles.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed 8-quart stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add the shrimp heads and shells, carrots, onions, and celery and cook, stirring often,
until the shells are orange and the vegetables have softened, about 15 minutes. (It
may be necessary to reduce the heat.)

Stir in the tomato paste, if using, and mix well. Pour in the cold water and drop in
the bay leaf. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer
gently for 20 minutes.

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Shrimp Risotto - Instructions Continued


Strain the mixture through a fine sieve (or a colander lined with several layers of
cheesecloth) into a clean pot. Discard the solids. Place the pot of strained stock on
the stove and bring to a bare simmer. Season the stock with salt and pepper until it
tastes rich and complex. (I know, I know. You've been warned never to salt stock, but
like with boiling pasta, this is the only chance you get to infuse flavor into the
rice. And since you're not reducing the stock, there's little danger of over-salting
it.)

Make the shrimp risotto:
While the shrimp stock simmers, devein and coarsely chop the shrimp. If you'd like to
decorate the top as in the photo, set aside two whole shrimp per person.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a wide, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When

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Shrimp Risotto - Instructions Continued

the foaming stops, toss in the shrimp, and whole shrimp if using, and sauté until
light pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape the shrimp into a bowl.

Return the pot to medium-high heat. Add another tablespoon butter and the shallot and
cook until the shallot is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1
minute more. Lower the heat to medium if needed.

Dump the rice into the pot and stir until each and every grain is well-coated with the
butter. Sauté the rice gently for a few moments more until it starts to turn
translucent, then add the wine and stir constantly until it has evaporated.

Add the stock by the ladleful (about 1/2 cup at a time) and stir constantly-yes,
constantly-until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until all the stock is used and the
rice is creamy and al dente, 25 to 35 minutes. Make sure as you stir to sweep along

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Shrimp Risotto - Instructions Continued

the entire bottom and sides of the pot to prevent the rice from sticking or scorching.


Stir in the shrimp chunks and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and allow the shrimp
to heat through. Season the risotto with salt and pepper, if you so desire, and spritz
it with a little parsley. Decorate the top of each serving with the reserved shrimp by
placing them at a jaunty angle. Serve immediately.

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