It takes time to make (about 40 minutes), but it's a relaxing dish to prepare.
- 500 g fresh unshelled prawns
- 70 g unsalted butter
- 2 shallots or a small onion (finely diced)
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 400 g risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150 ml dry white wine
- stock (see recipe below)
- 1 tblsp chopped fresh flat leaf
- for the stock:
- 1 carrot (sliced)
- 1 onion or celery stalk (sliced)
- 1 tomato (halved)
- 1 bulb fennel (quartered)
- 1 bay leaf
- Cook the prawns in a large pot of salted water for 3-5 minutes, depending on their size.
- Drain the prawns and shell them by twisting the head to remove it and
- pulling the legs off.
- Hold the tail and then lift the shell upwards and away from the body.
- Don't throw out the shells; instead, make a delicious stock by placing the shells back in the water with a sliced carrot, onion or celery stalk, halved tomato, quartered fennel bulb and a bay leaf.
- Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, then strain through a sieve.
- Make the risotto by melting the butter in a large pan.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
- Add the rice, season with salt and pepper and stir for a minute or so to coat it in the butter.
- Pour in the white wine and let it bubble for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate.
- Add the hot stock a ladleful at a time, stirring well between each addition until the liquid has been absorbed. This will take about 20 minutes in total.
- Stir in the cooked prawns and allow to warm through.
- Just before serving, gently fold in the chopped fresh flat leaf parsley.
The most important thing about making a risotto is that you use a good stock and that you add it in slowly, making sure that each ladle of stock is absorbed before you add the next. The quality of the rice is also important - the best variety of rice is carnaroli, the second best is baldo and then there's the most common, arborio.