Risotto with prawns and peas

Risotto with prawns and peas

Modern Italian Food
Earl Carter

A lovely creamy risotto full of chunks of prawns and explosions of sweet peas. If you cannot get hold of fresh small peas, omit them and replace with finely diced zucchini or asparagus.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
200g italian risotto rice
50ml wine
2 litres light fish, chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
12 medium-sized green prawns
300g fresh peas, shelled
1 tablespoon butter
fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
a squeeze lemon
freshly ground black pepper, (optional)


  1. Heat the butter and 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy-based pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft. Add the rice and toast it by frying until it has absorbed all the flavours. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates. After a minute or so, begin to add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly between each addition.
  2. Cook for 15–20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked, but each grain is still slightly firm in the centre. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the prawns into 2 cm chunks. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan and briefly sear the prawns until they colour. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Five minutes before the end of cooking time, add the fresh peas to the risotto (so they maintain their lovely bright green colour). When the risotto is ready, stir in the prawns. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cover for few moments. Just before serving, add the parsley, lemon juice and, if you like, freshly ground black pepper.


  • You can make a lovely flavoured oil with the heads and shells of shellfish such as prawns and yabbies. Simply place them on a baking tray and bake dry in a moderate oven until the shells are brittle and coloured. Tip them into a saucepan with half a head of garlic (cut crosswise) and cover with olive oil. Simmer very slowly, on the lowest heat you can achieve, for 2–3 hours, or until the crustacean flavour has really developed. This is a lovely oil to drizzle over seafood pasta and risotto, or even over simple grilled prawns. The oil will keep for a few weeks in a cool, dark cupboard.
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