This creamy risotto, spiked with salty Parmesan and topped with sweet, juicy roasted shrimp, has a lot going for it. There's the slight edge of fancy, as risotto is something many of us eat at restaurants but not at home. And yet it's so comforting — a simple homestyle dish, really. It's also not difficult.
One of the nicest things about risotto is even if you turn one out that's not quite technically perfect in the classical sense — rice a little too soft, sauce not creamy enough, the dish a bit dry — it's still a really good meal.
An Easy Dinner That Feels Special
Whether you're cooking with your someone special, for a group of friends, or for your whole family, here's a recipe that lends itself to some togetherness in the kitchen — easy risotto, stirred meditatively, cooked slowly, with a glass of wine in one hand and the music turned up.
If this is the first time you've made risotto and you want a little extra guidance, check out our tutorial on making a basic risotto. This recipe is based on it closely.
Learn how: How To Make Risotto at Home
I top this basic risotto with roasted shrimp, which is a lovely and easy way to incorporate shrimp into a dish. Just throw it into the oven as the risotto finishes cooking. Here I used tail-on shrimp, for some restaurant-style flair, but you could use any large uncooked shrimp.
The recipe makes a generous quantity of risotto — about six large portions. For two people, you could cut the recipe in half, or just enjoy leftovers for a couple of days. I like to reheat risotto on the stove with a bit of extra broth to help it loosen up, or you can shape the leftover risotto into patties and fry them in a skillet.
What's not to love about sweet, tender roasted shrimp piled on top of cheesy, extra-creamy risotto? This dish is simple yet special, and really the perfect pick for your next date night in or dinner party with friends. The recipe can easily be halved if you're cooking it for the former.
I also highly suggest popping opening a bottle of white wine to enjoy with this — use a bit for the recipe and then pour a glass for yourself as you cook! A crisp Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc would be especially nice here.
- Sheela, April 2018
Parmesan Risotto with Roasted Shrimp
large raw shrimp
Freshly ground black pepper
(2 quarts) low-sodium chicken broth
small white onion, diced
dry white wine
1 1/2 cups
grated Parmesan cheese
finely chopped Italian parsley leaves, divided
Arrange rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Rinse the shrimp and pat them very dry. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the paprika and a generous quantity of salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Spread them in an even layer and refrigerate while you prepare the risotto.
Warm the broth in a medium saucepan over low heat.
In a separate Dutch oven or wide, deep sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and beginning to brown around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir thoroughly to make sure it is coated with the butter and onions. Cook the rice for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the wine and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan until the wine has evaporated.
Add the warm broth one ladle at a time, stirring frequently. Wait to add another ladle until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed by the rice. This gradual addition of liquid is key to getting the rice to release its starch and create its own delicious sauce, so don't rush this step. If the broth is evaporating very quickly, or the rice is boiling hard, turn the heat down so you just see a gentle simmer and occasional plop. Expect this stage to take about 18 minutes, and to add most of the broth.
Begin tasting the rice after about 13 minutes to gauge how far it has cooked. The risotto is ready when the rice is still a bit chewy, and the dish has the consistency of thick porridge. In the last 5 minutes of cooking the risotto, put the pan of prepared shrimp in the oven. Roast until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
When the risotto is ready, turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan and about 1/2 cup of the parsley. Taste and seaon with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately, spreading risotto in pasta bowls and topping with the shrimp and a sprinkle of the remaining parsley.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.