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Prawn and pea Risotto.


For the french version, click HERE.

This is my contribution to the food blog event “Is my blog burning” hosted today by Pim. Pim was raised in Bangkok and lives now in San Francisco. She writes a food blog I love called “Chez Pim” . She enjoys coming to Paris.
The theme today is “Around the world in a bowl of rice”.

Since Noé is not a baby anymore, I’m always looking for food that we can all eat together and that we all enjoy. With Gabrielle, 11, it’s easy as she has adult taste, she even enjoys spicy food and she likes discovering new tastes. With Noé, 4, it’s not so easy. His favourite meal is still pasta and ham.

Risotto, even as an appetiser, is the perfect meal for me : it’s a one pot dinner that you can adapt very easily and everybody loves it. A long time ago it was considered as a meal for poor people until it became fashionable in restaurants in the 90’s. In proper Italian restaurants, it is served as an appetiser.

On top of that, David loves cooking it. I just have to prepare all the ingredients and there it is. It’s a real family job.

Risotto is really easy to make. To succeed, here are the 3 golden rules :

Rice : you’ll need to use a special risotto rice. Grains are smaller and rounder than rice we’re used to. They are able to absorb a big quantity of liquids (wine and stock) which gives the risotto it’s creamy consistence but leaves the rice firm. There are several rices for risotto. I’ve used Arborio rice which is the more common and the easiest to find. You can find several other risotto rices which have a very good reputation such as Vialone, Carnaroli, Baldo or Roma.

Liquids : they have to be at room temperature for the wine and hot for the stock. You need to add the stock little by little using a ladle, waiting for each ladle-full to be absorbed before adding some more.

Patience : you need to know that as soon as you start to cook the rice, you won’t be able to walk away from your pan as you need to stir constantly. So you need to prepare all the ingredients and have them nearby before you start, and make sure the CD you’re listening to isn’t near the end. But, hey, it’s only for 20 minutes.

Our favourite cook, Jamie Oliver includes in his books a lot of recipes around risotto. That day we chose the prawn and pea risotto with fresh basil and mint. Just writing this makes me want to eat it again!

That particular evening we nearly didn’t have our risotto. It was a bank holiday in the middle of the week as we sometimes have in France. During the afternoon I was preparing all the ingredients. Everything was fine until I took the packet of rice from the cupboard. It was in the cupboard, there was some rice in the packet but just enough for someone not very hungry. A nightmare for a cook. I gave a call to the Italian delicatessen that I’ve already written about in this blog. Somebody answered me, Yes ! but then he told me that the store was closed. He must have heard the panic in my voice and asked me what I wanted. He agreed to let me come and buy the rice even though the shop was closed. 15 minutes later I was back home with my precious packet of Arborio rice. In this kind of situation the world always appears beautiful to me.

Signori Figli
92, grande rue Charles de Gaulle
94130 Nogent sur Marne


Prawn and pea Risotto with fresh basil and mint.

In the original recipe from Jamie Oliver, you’re not supposed to add any butter nor parmesan because of the prawns. By accident, we added some and it was really good. That is why I kept them in the list of ingredients. You can choose to use them or not.

For 4 persons :

Approximately 1,5 litre stock (chicken, fish or vegetable)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 shallots or 2 medium onions finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400 g risotto rice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 wine glasses of dry white wine (1/4 litre)
50 g butter
60 g freshly grated Parmesan

For the garniture :

3 good handfuls of frozen peas, defrosted
1 knob of butter
450 g of raw prawns, peeled (about 12 big prawns)
1 handful of fresh basil, chopped
½ a handful of fresh mint, chopped
juice of 1 lemon

Notes on ingredients :

For stock, I use cubes of chicken stock that I put in boiling water.
For prawns I buy them frozen from Picard or Tang frères.

Before starting, fry half the peas in the knob of butter and a little stock. Cook until tender and mash.
Prepare all the ingredients in front of you.

Stage 1.
Heat the stock. In a separate pan heat the olive oil, add the shallots or onions and garlic, and fry slowly for about 4 minutes. When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.

Stage 2.
The rice will now begin to fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring.

Stage 3.
Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a highish simmer so the rice doesn't cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladles of stock, stirring and allowing each ladle of liquid to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 15 minutes. Taste the rice - is it cooked? Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Don't forget to check the seasoning carefully.
Add the peas (mashed and whole) and the prawns and simmer for 2 minutes.

Stage 4.
Add the lemon juice and the herbs and stir.
Remove from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan, if using. Stir gently. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. This is the most important part of making the risotto as this is when it becomes outrageously creamy and oozy like it should be. Eat as soon as possible while the risotto retains its perfect texture.


We really enjoyed it. It was so creamy and tasty. It also looked very nice with the pink of the prawns, the green of the fresh herbs and peas.

Yesterday evening at Isabelle and Ethan's place in Paris, we had a fantastic risotto with green asparagus and parmesan prepared by Isabelle for 16 people. I really need to ask her for the recipe.


Flux You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

salut pascale!

your blog is so excellent!

you are absolutely right on target with your "golden rules of risotto"!

i recently made the same exact jamie oliver recipe - delish. and here is the recipe you asked for, from the excellent book "risotto", by judith barrett and norma wasserman.

spring vegetable risotto

2 cups spring vegetables (asparagus tips, baby peas, etc)
1/4 cup light cream
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup grated parmesean
5 cups (approx.) broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil
1/3 cup finely minced onion
1 1/2 cups arborio rice

cook the veggies in water for about 3 minutes. drain, run them under cold water, and set aside.

bring the broth to a steady simmer in a pan.

heat the butter and oil -- add the onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to brown it. add the rice, stir for 1 minute using a wooden spoon, making sure all the grains are well coated. add the wine and stir until completely absorbed. begin to add the simmering broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. (reserve about 1/4 cup to be added at the end). stir frequently to prevent sticking.

after approx 18 minutes, when the rice is tender but still firm, add the reserved 1/4 cup broth and the blanched veggies, cream, parsley, and parmesan, and stir vigorously to combine the rice. serve immediately.

Pascale, that sounds wonderful - I'm definitely going to have to try it. And Isabelle's was great too...I'm afraid my husband is going to get tired of risotto in the near future. Thanks to both of you!

Many thanks to Isabelle and Meg.
Isabelle, will try your recipe.

Pascale the dish looks wonderful, just waiting to be eaten. The herbs addition is not typical for Italian risotto but I cansee how it would work great here! Now... if I only could find some raw shrimps..

Beautiful picture, too. Risotto is usually not very photogenic, but your photo is extremely tempting!

stunning photo! agree with Clotilde, risotto doesn't usually photograph well, but yours make me want to take a bite right off my screen!

Thanks a lot for your comments.
For alberto : in France, if you don't live close to a harbour, you can only find raw prawns in frozen food store. I guess it must be the same in Germany.

Hi Pascale,

This is picture gorgeous, as always. It also looks pretty delicious. I will have to give it a try soon. Thanks so much for participating.

(Pardon me for commenting so late, I've been having weird issues with my isp.)

Hello Pim,
Thanks to you for all the organization. You must have spent ages to collect all the posts.
This picture was taken outside which helps a lot with food. Have a good week end.


Google returned your website when I did a search for pea risotto. The recipe you gave seems exactly what I was looking for. Thanks very much!

I don't klnow too much about cooking but I've heard how prawns can give you awful food poisoning if they are not cooked properly. Can I be sure that after the short time that they have been in the pan that they are fully cooked and safe?

Also, If there is any leftover risotto do you know if it is OK to store in the fridge or freezer to be re-heated the next day?


Hello Paul,
In fact some people even eat them raw with lime juice in what we call in France "tartare". I think poisoning can happen when the prawns are not fresh or defrosted and put back in the freezer. Anyway, prawns cook very fast and if you cook them too much they become too hard. I've never try to reheat risotto. I guess you can do it but it's better eaten straight after, like pasta. Please let me know if you try this recipe. Have a good day.

yeah, plus, you forgot to say : once they're completely pink, they're cooked.
you wouldn't get me to eat one raw. bleuch

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