Friday, November 13, 2009

Parmesan and Pea Risotto with Lime-Butter Prawns

From Pea & Parsley Risotto
Let me begin with a disclaimer: I am in no way Italian - unless there are a few secrets in my family there is not a drop of Italian blood in me. I did not have Italian neighbours and it wasn't until I was in my 20's that I had a friend who was of Italian heritage. So really - I have little experience to tell you that this is what risotto should look like or taste like ... but I do know I love this dish ... creamy, aromatic and delicious.

The basic recipe is from Micheal Smith who is a Canadian Chef. I have been a fan of his for years but even more so after he published a book without a lot of direction. Sounds crazy but he thinks you should cook with your heart and senses... a go with the flow kind of approach. To check out this great chef and his book go here

To his basic recipe I added lime & butter prawns, more cheese, more garlic and used less broth than recommended. Try it with your own tweaks and favorite flavours - you won't be disappointed.

Parmesan and Pea Risotto with Lime-Butter Prawns
From Pea & Parsley Risotto

• 6-8 cups chicken stock – I used homemade
• 1 onion, peeled and chopped
• 1 leek, sliced
• 1 shallot
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 2 cups Arborio rice
• 1 cup white wine
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 1 handful chopped parsley
• 1 cup grated freshly Parmesan cheese
• 1 tbsp butter
• Salt and pepper
• 10-20 prawns
• ¼ c lime juice
• 2 tbsp butter
• 1 tbsp oil

Directions For Risotto

1. Heat chicken stock in a saucepan. It has to be very hot.
2. In another medium saucepan, sauté the 3 kinds of onions with the olive oil over medium high heat until softened.
3. Add garlic and Arborio rice and stir until the grains are well coated with oil and slightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic!
4. Add wine (it can be cold) and stir until absorbed by the rice.
5. Begin adding the heated stock, one ladle-full at a time, allowing it to be absorbed by the rice, before adding more. When you run a fork across the bottom of the pan and it stay parted you know it has been absorbed enough.
6. Repeat the ladling and stirring frequently until the risotto is tender and creamy. The rice will be al dente – i.e. soft but not too mushy
7. Season with salt and pepper and add peas, parsley, butter and cheese. Mix vigorously for maximum creaminess.

Directions for Prawns
Heat oil and butter in sauté pan. When hot add prawns cooking about 2 minutes per side until bright red in color and the prawns have curled up in the pan. Add lime juice. Sauté another 30-60 seconds. Place on top of risotto. Enjoy.
From Pea & Parsley Risotto


  1. wow...that looks so inviting. I love prawns and I love rice, so that just fits me well....mmm. Thanks for sharing

  2. Beautiful colors and a great healthy meal that can be midweek, or posh enough for guests.


  3. looks delicious, I love that it's healthy and full of flavor

  4. Your prawns look perfect! And not too many peas. I get a little health obsesses when I make risotto. All that cream and butter means I add lots of veggies... Which ruin the appearance!

  5. Those prawns are beautiful! How I miss B.C. seafood! I love making risotto, but love making fried risotto cakes with the leftovers the next day even more.

  6. I agree with the risotto cakes - we call them risotto balls - only problem is there is never enough left over! And yes, these spotted prawns are my favorite - so flavourful!

  7. That looks like another fabulous meal! Absolutely flavourful. Enjoy! Have a nice day & cheers.

  8. Nice pics and recipe. Sounds and looks tasty.

  9. I love the parmesan and pea part. I am not a big prawn lover, but I will try it. My hubs loves any kind of seafood.