Some people will tell you risotto is hard to make, and you have to add the water really slowly and stir it exactly every 2.3 minutes with a wooden spoon that has been blessed by a celebrity chef. This is not the case, its dead easy and just like a pasta dish you can bung all sorts of stuff in. The basic risotto is a white rice dish, then you add your flavours, and always finish by stirring in a load of parmesan.
So here is my recipe for pea and prawn risotto. It's like a children's dish in its colours and textures, but its a perfect comfort food for me. A lovely blob of white with bright pink and green accents. If you like prawns in a sauce, like fish pie or 60's prawn mornay, then this will be just your cup of tea. Makes plenty for 2, enough for 3 if you get an extra visitor.
small onion 1, finely chopped
white wine 1 small glass
garden peas, fresh or frozen, 2tbsp-ish (depends how much you like them!)
prawns, the normal sized ones, a small packet/box
arborio risotto rice 1 small cup
1 chicken or vegetable gluten free stock cube, made up as per the instructions
freshly grated parmesan cheese 1 big cup
garlic 1/2 clove grated
salt and pepper
In a heavy pan or le-cruset thingy slowly soften your onions in a bit of oilve oil and a nice blob of butter. Slooooooooly, so it just goes mushy and see through golden, not brown. Now add the garlic and cook for a moment before adding the rice. Cook the rice in the onion butter mix till it goes kinda seethrough on the outside, about two mins. Chuck in the glass of wine, and cook off till its all soaked in. Now for the stock, add about a third of the jug (a cube makes 500ml I think?), reduce to a simmer and cook slowly, stiring every 10 mins or so with your celebrity blessed wooden spoon. When it starts to stick and its gone in the rice, bung another third in, and then do the same stiring with that amazing spoon. All gone in the rice? Brill, bung in the rest of the stock. The starch from the rice will make a creamy sauce around the rice, perfect!
1 cup of rice takes about 500ml of stock, check the packet for exact quntities of you like. I just use the 500ml, and when thats all gone I taste the rice, if its too crunchy I just add boiling water in dribs and drabs, then cook and stir till the rice seems right. Its a good idea to have a risotto at a good restaurant so you know how the rice should feel in your mouth, it should be soft on the outside, but still have bite in the centre.
When your risotto is nearly done, add the peas, this will be after most of the 500ml of stock but when it still has about 4 mins cooking time to go. When the peas are done, bung in the prawns, a big blob of grated parmesan, a nice bob of butter and some fresh black pepper. Stir around for one min, then switch off and put the lid on, leave for a couple more mins, it will be all gloopy and the prawns will heat through.
Serve right away, sprinkled with some extra parmesan, and some chilli flakes if you like (we do!). Very nice with some pea shoots ontop if you can get them, or rocket salad on the side. Sometimes I make this with chopped sugar snaps instead. Wanna know what it should look like? Kinda like this.