This is a lovely risotto packed with succulent shrimp and flavored with bay. We are lucky enough to have a bay laurel bush in the back garden, but if you don’t, a dry bay leaf is a fine alternative. Here it adds a wonderful herby note to the risotto. We love the addition of tomato paste to the mix and the happily discovered bonus is that it gives the creamy, cheesey rice a beautiful tinge of pink to match the prawns.
4 cups chicken or fish stock
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 fresh bay leaf, torn in half
3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbs. butter
2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
1¾ cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 tbs. tomato paste
1¼ lbs. large, raw prawns, peeled and de-veined
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
Put the chicken stock, garlic clove, and bay leaf in a pan and heat to a simmer.
Put a medium size, heavy bottomed pan with a tight fitting lid on a low heat. Add the olive oil and 2 tbs. of the butter and cook the shallots or onions until softened but not colored, about 5 minutes. Tip in the rice and let it cook for 4-5 minutes until opaque. Pour in the wine and stir until it is absorbed. Slowly ladle about ¾ cup of the stock into the rice and stir until it is absorbed, repeating until the all but ½ cup of the stock is gone.
At this point, stir in the tomato paste, shrimp, and salt and pepper. Add the remaining stock, put on the lid and cook for 5 minutes longer, or until the shrimp is just pink. Stir in the remaining butter, the Parmesan and sprinkle with parsley to serve.