I was at the gym today and happened on the treadmill just as the movie Under the Tuscan Sun started. For as being as rom-com crazy as I have a tendency to be, this one never really spoke to me, and I’ve only seen it once, I think. Not sure why (not having recently broken up or anything), but this time I really just found the movie so delightful and it made the hour at the gym fly by, and left me hoping for its presence on Netflix so that I can finish watching it tonight.
In any case, it was sort of fortuitous timing since today’s dish is a flashback to Italy! I did give Italy its due three week shake over a year ago when I cooked it, but given my lackluster feelings on pasta and Italian food in general (don’t hate), it’s not a country to which my kitchen often returns. Mom feels the same way, and I think both of us were surprised by how drawn we were to the Italian restaurants at Epcot. Likewise, in the gut-busting lunch provided to us for Food Blog Forum, the risotto di mare from The Flying Fish Café at Disney’s Boardwalk was the one dish for which I made room for seconds and is the inspiration for today’s Spring Shrimp Risotto.
Spring is in the air, after all. Can you feel it? I swear Chicago’s outdoor presence increased tenfold this weekend, with temps scraping 50. Some people were even wearing shorts! Foolish people, but still, it’s the idea, and it’s clear that we’re all ready to shed some layers and part ways with the big bowls of comfort food on which we’ve all come to rely. This dish is sort of in-between; hearty enough to keep the chill off, but bright and colorful that it just might persuade us to start eating more salads soon.
Also, one last thought taken from today’s movie and it also sort of fits in with the whole idea behind Disney. I liked it and figured it was a good reminder for us all:
Never lose your childish enthusiasm, and things will come your way.
A few notes:
I opted to keep it lighter and didn’t, but feel free to add a few tablespoons of heavy cream. In fact, I encourage it.
My original intent was to use pancetta, but couldn’t find it at the store, and therefore opted for some prosciutto. You can follow suit, use pancetta if you can find it, bacon if you prefer that, or remove it totally to keep it veg.
I’d recommend not using chicken stock since I think it might overpower a bit.
- 3 TB shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TB unsalted butter
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup medium-dry white wine
- 2 ½ seafood or vegetable stock
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 1 cup arugula
- 2 TB chopped parsley
- ½ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 ounces prosciutto, sliced into thin ribbons
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Zest of 1 medium lemon
- Juice of ½ of that medium lemon
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- Extra cheese, to garnish
- In a deep pot, heat the stock over medium low heat.
- In a large, somewhat deep skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic to pan and cook to soften 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the rice.
- Cook the rice for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the wine and cook until evaporated. Add in the hot stock, about 1 cup at a time, and stir for a minute with each addition, to develop the starch and the creamy aspect. Total cooking time will be about 18 minutes or so. Keep adding stock each time the pan starts to become dry at the edges.
- When rice is cooked to al dente, where it just as a bit of a bite, stir in the lemon juice, the cheese, parsley, arugula, peas and shrimp with just a touch more stock. Cover and let the shrimp cook to pink and arugula wilt, about 4 minutes, max. Season with salt and pepper and fold in the prosciutto. Serve immediately.
- Optional: 2 TB heavy cream. You can also substitute pancetta for the prosciutto.
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