Try this tasty tomato and prawn risotto for a delicious Italian-inspired dinner in under an hour. It’s sure to impress your guests.
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COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Use it up: If you’re peeling fresh prawns for this recipe, keep the shells to add flavour to your stock or to make your own.
There are few dishes as comforting and crowd-pleasing as risotto. The creamy, rice-based concoction can be traced back to Italy in the 1500s after rice was introduced to both Italy and Spain by the Arabs, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that the meal evolved from using boiled rice to roasting the grain with butter and onion before adding broth into the mix. Fast-forward a few centuries and risotto can be found on menus across the globe, accommodating an enormous range of ingredients and flavour profiles. This recipe for prawn risotto is a classic combination.
Homemade risotto is quite simple to cook, though it takes a little patience and some essential ingredients to guarantee success. The dish starts with sautéed onion – a crucial element to build the flavour base for any variety of risotto. Make sure the onion is chopped into pieces smaller than the rice grains and be careful not to burn it. You can’t make risotto without rice, and the variety is just as important. Arborio is a short-grain rice, perfect for absorbing liquids and releasing starch to achieve the ideal consistency. Don’t be tempted to swap it out for basmati. A good stock is the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to the risotto base – without it, the dish would be severely lacking flavour. Ensure your stock is hot before adding it to the rice and onion mix, as cold stock will alter the cooking process of the grains.
This prawn risotto calls for banana prawns over other species, and for good reason. The sweet, subtle flavour and thick, firm fillet form the ideal protein in this dish. They balance out the tangy tomato without overpowering the flavour balance. Keeping tails on will enhance their flavour, or for easy eating, peel and devein the prawns. You can buy them ready-peeled and frozen, but if they are uncooked, you should allow them to fully defrost before use to avoid overcooking.
Got the hang of homemade risotto? Try this chicken and mushroom risotto or this easy spinach and pea risotto. A leafy side like Curtis Stone’s green core salad with salsa verde will round out your menu nicely.
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