Sunday, 19 January 2014

Prawn Risotto

12 medium-sized raw prawns
20g butter
1/2 onion, chopped very fine
125g risotto rice
50ml dry white wine
1tbs tomato passata
olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper
For the stock
3tbs olive oil
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
A few black peppercorns
1 tbs tomato paste
splash dry white wine
Take the heads from the prawns, then remove the tails through the shell.
To make the stock, heat the oil in a large, heavy pan, add the prawn heads and shells then crush them a little with a wooden spoon, till they release their juices. Cook for about 5 minutes, tossing the shells around in the pan, to get all the flavour from them.
Add the vegetables, bay leaf, parsley stalks and peppercorns. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the tomato paste and the wine. Let the alcohol to evaporate, then add 1 litre water (make sure all the shells are covered). Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine sieve, pressing the shells to get all the flavour out.
For the risotto, bring to the stock back up to the boil, then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Melt the butter in a heavy pan, and add the chopped onion. Cook gently until softened, but not coloured. Add the rice and stir around to coat in the butter and then add the wine. Let the wine bubble away. 
Slowly add the stock, a ladleful or two at a time, stirring and scraping the rice in the pan as you do so. Add the tomato passata with the first ladleful of stock. When each ladleful has almost evaporated, add the next ladleful.
Carry on cooking the risotto for about 14 minutes, adding stock when needed. The risotto is ready when the grains are soft, but still al dente.
Take off the heat and let the risotto rest for a minute without stirring, then season the raw prawns then add to the risotto, with a squeeze of lemon juice. They will cook in the hot risotto. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Beat in the cold diced butter with a wooden spoon, making sure you shake the pan at the same time.

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