At the Table

Risotto with Spinach and Pan-Seared Shrimp

Even though it’s a little time intensive (~1 hour start to finish), this recipe was relatively easy and sooo delicious!  Thanks to Cooking Light for this now-modified recipe.

In Italy I learned that when cooking risotto, you have two options: stir the rice almost constantly until it’s done, or don’t stir at all after mixing in the rice.  Since you put oil in the pan, and then mix the rice with that, if you don’t stir it all there will be a coating of oil on the bottom of the pan which keeps everything from sticking.  This being a “light” recipe there’s not quite as much oil so I did stir mine a few times (using a nonstick pan really helped, too).

Note #2 regarding risotto: it’s important that the liquid (in this case, broth) that you add to the risotto is hot when you add it.  Not boiling, but steaming.

Serves 3-4 (dinner portions)

4 c. chicken or vegetable broth, warmed.


20-24 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined.  Cooked shrimp just won’t yield the same results.

4 green onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 c. dry white wine (pinot grigio worked well), or extra broth

1/2 c. grated parmigiano cheese

2 T. butter

Several handfuls of baby spinach

Heat 1 T. oil over medium or med-hi heat in large frying pan, add shrimp (sprinkled lightly with salt and pepper) and cook for 1 minute, flipping after 30 seconds. Remove from pan.

Heat remaining oil  in pan (medium heat), add garlic and green onion. Cook for 5 minutes, until soft.  Stir in rice and cook for about a minute, until it “shines”, stirring constantly.  Add wine and cook for another minute, until liquid is absorbed.  At this point, you can decide to stir, or not.  Add hot broth, 1/2-3/4 cup at a time, waiting for each addition to absorb before adding the next.  This takes about half an hour.  I found I needed a little extra broth (1/2 cup or so) to make the rice really tender.

Once the rice is cooked, stir in the shrimp and cook for a minute.  Add parmesan and butter, and a little salt and pepper (taste before adding, since the broth will have already added some saltiness to the risotto). Remove from heat and mix in spinach until it wilts. Serve immediately!

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