I love the combination of sweet, tender shrimp and fresh zucchini in creamy risotto, and I will often order it if I see it on a restaurant menu. Although cheese generally isn’t used with seafood, I do like Parmesan cheese in this dish. Preparing risotto at home requires a particular cooking technique that is found primarily in northern Italy and used for all risotto dishes you may want to make. Although the flavoring additions are endless, you need to start with the same basics every time. The two main ingredients consist of the rice and broth. You should use an Italian variety of rice that is specifically grown in Italy, such as Arborio, Vialone Nano, or Cararoli. Arborio can now be found in most American grocery stores, but certainly can be found at an Italian specialty store.
The broth should be homemade when making risotto, to ensure the most flavorful results, but if time or circumstances make having homemade broth impossible, use the best canned broth you can find. Chicken, vegetable, fish and meat broths are all used depending on the other ingredients used in the dish.
You could substitute another vegetable for the zucchini if you prefer, but this combination is as pretty as it is flavorful. Asparagus is another vegetable that works particularly well with the shrimp, and still has the pink and green color combination. Try and find small, young zucchini for the best flavor.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (2 Tablespoons Removed To Finish The Dish)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
- 2 Cups Arborio Rice
- 1/2 Cup White Wine
- 6 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- 1 Pound Fresh, Small To Medium Shrimp, Shells Removed And Deveined, Cut In Half
- 3 Small Zucchini, Ends Removed, Cut In Half Lengthwise, Sliced
- 1/2 Cup Fresh, Chopped Parsley
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Heat the 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy saucepan with the oil.
- Add the onions and cook until translucent over medium heat.
- Add the rice and stir until it is well coated with the butter and oil.
- Begin to add the wine, and stir continually over medium heat until it is absorbed.
- Start to add 1/2 cup of hot broth, stirring as it is absorbed.
- Continue in this manner, adding ladles full of hot broth, and stirring continuously.
- About 10 minutes into the cooking time, add the zucchini and continue cooking for another 7 minutes.
- Add the shrimp, and continue to cook until the rice is cooked, but remains slightly firm to the teeth.
- Remove from the heat, add the remaining butter. parsley and the parmesan cheese.