Michael Lomonaco's Contessa Shrimp and Vegatable Risotto
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely-diced
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
2 ½ cups chicken MING's Chicken Broth
½ pound Contessa Shrimp, cleaned and de-veined, cut into two pieces
¼ cup thinly sliced zucchini
¼ cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup heavy cream
- Using a large skillet with a heavy bottom, heat the olive oil over low heat and sauté or "sweat" the onions until translucent, being careful not to allow them to color or brown at all.
- Add the Arborio rice, stir to coat with the olive oil, and sauté with the onions to toast each grain of rice, about 7 minutes. This toasting process adds the chewy, al dente quality that attracts so many people to risotto.
- Preheat the chicken stock just to the boiling point, and then have it ready at stove side.
- Once the rice is lightly toasted, add the white wine slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon. A wooden spoon is always preferable when making risotto, as a metal spoon tends to cut or injure the grains of rice. Constant stirring should be avoided for the same reason, but instead develop the technique of stirring the rice with each new addition of broth and then allowing the risotto to simmer slowly, while it absorbs the liquid.
- After the rice has absorbed the white wine and the skillet is nearly dry, add hot chicken broth, one-half cup at a time, stirring only occasionally, and cooking over very low heat until the stock is absorbed by the rice. Continue adding the stock, a half cupful at a time, simmering until all the stock has been absorbed. (Adding the liquid in stages, instead of all at once, allows the grains of rice to expand more fully, adding to the risotto's creamy texture.)
- As you add the final half cup of stock to the rice, stir in the Contessa Shrimp and the vegetables along with the broth so that these raw ingredients have a few minutes to cook gently along with the final addition of broth. (The entire cooking process will take about 17 to 20 minutes.)
- When the risotto, Contessa Shrimp and vegetables are fully cooked, with the rice al dente, or toothy, and the Contessa Shrimp and vegetables thoroughly cooked, but not overdone, add the butter, Parmesan cheese, and the heavy cream. Stir to combine all the ingredients and serve immediately. Sprinkle extra cheese over the top if you like. Grate fresh black pepper over the top as you like.
© Michael Lomonaco 1995, all rights reserved