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Monday, 15 June 2015

Italian-style Shrimp & Vegetable Risotto

Often while travelling, it can be difficult to whip together meals that everyone enjoys while in a small kitchen.  The great thing about risotto is that you can use all sorts of fresh, local vegetables and meats or fish and add them right into a tasty risotto without too much effort.  I got the idea of using a bit of tomato base in the risotto after being served a fish risotto at a little cafe in Rome.  It was so simple - they used just a mild tomato base with a bit of calamari, mussels and shrimp on top  (I used more spices/flavor).  That cafe dish was a perfect jumping off point to experiment a bit and expand the flavor palate in a way the entire family enjoyed.  This is for you, mom. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Italian Shrimp & Vegetable Risotto
Vegetables and shrimp ready to be mixed into the risotto.

Italian-style Shrimp & Vegetable Risotto
Serves 4-6

Heat a medium-sized frying pan and a large-sized frying pan each over medium to medium-high heat.  You will be cooking the vegetables in the smaller pan and the risotto in the larger pan at the same time.  I'll provide directions for both separately, just for clarity.

In the large frying pan, place:
2 Tbsp olive oil

Add and cook 2 minutes:
1-2 large shallots

Add and cook 1 minute:
1 cup Arborio risotto

Add 1 cup at a time, allowing most of the liquid to soak/cook into the rice before adding the next cup, cooking about 15-20 minutes:
1 cup tomato sauce
2 - 2 1/2 cups water

Add along with the first bit of water/tomato sauce: (Adjust spices towards the end of the cooking, paying attention to whether or not your tomato sauce includes salt)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried basil

Gluten Free Risotto with Tomato Sauce
Risotto close to being done, notice how most of the liquid has been absorbed.

When the risotto has reached the desired consistency (you can leave it with a bit extra liquid or you can let it be a bit drier), remove from heat and fold in:
1/2 - 3/4 cup fresh buffalo mozzarella, diced
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, crumbled

Fold in the following cooked vegetables and shrimp, below.  Serve warm! Enjoy!!!

Vegetables & Shrimp:
In the medium sized frying pan, place:
2 Tbsp olive oil

Add and cook until just tender ~10 minutes:
2-3 small zucchini, sliced
3 shallots, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried basil

Add and cook 2-3 minutes:
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Add and let cook 3-4 minutes:
8-10 mini tomatoes, sliced in half 
2 handfuls baby spinach, sliced (optional)

Add 1 minute before adding into risotto, just so it has time to warm up:
2 handfuls cooked, peeled shrimp

Fold into cooked risotto. Serve and enjoy!
Gluten Free Italian Shrimp & Vegetable Risotto
Delicious vegetables and shrimp risotto in a tomato base. Delicious! 

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