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Risotto of Shrimp & Sugar Snaps

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Serves four as a main course.

I like to leave the shrimp tails on, but you can take them off and use them in the stock, if you like.

  • 3/4 lb. sugar snap peas, trimmed; trimmings reserved
  • 1-1/2 lb. large shrimp (31 to 40 per pound), shelled and deveined; shells reserved
  • 1 medium leek (white and green parts), coarsely chopped and thoroughly rin
  • 1 large onion, chopped and divided in half
  • 1-1/2 cups dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Gris)
  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided in half
  • 1-1/2 cups arborio rice
  • Grated zest and juice of 1-lemon, both divided in half
  • 2 tsp. chile paste, divided in half, or a pinch dried red chile flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. very finely sliced fresh mint

Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and add the peas. Boil just until they change color, 20 to 30 seconds. Drain and refresh with cold water. Set aside.

Make the shrimp stock:

In a large saucepan, combine the shrimp shells with the sugar snap trimmings, chopped leek, half of the chopped onion, and 1 cup of the wine. Add 2 quarts water, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain, pressing on the solids, and return the liquid to the pan, keeping the heat low. You should have about 6-1/2 cups of stock.

Make the risotto:

In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, heat half of the olive oil over medium high. Add the rice, the remaining onion, half of the lemon zest, half of the chile paste, all the garlic, and 1 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, until the rice grains are thoroughly coated and very lightly toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup wine. When the wine has evaporated, add 1-1/2 cups of the shrimp stock, stirring frequently and keeping the liquid at a simmer. When the stock is absorbed, add another 1-1/2 cups, stirring frequently. Continue stirring and adding stock in this manner until the rice is al dente, about 20 minutes (stir in the blanched sugar snaps at 15 minutes). When the risotto is done, set it aside.

Set a sauté pan over medium high heat; add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil. When the pan is hot, add the remaining chile paste. Sauté about 1 minute. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and sauté just until the shrimp turn pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in half of the lemon juice. Loosen the risotto with some stock if needed and fold in half of the mint and the remaining lemon zest and juice. Adjust the seasonings, adding more lemon juice if you like. Divide the risotto among four plates, top with the shrimp and with the remaining mint. Serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 610; Fat (g): 15; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 2; Protein (g): 31; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10; Carbohydrates (g): 81; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 900; Cholesterol (mg): 200; Fiber (g): 9;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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