Risotto was the first dish I learned how to make “as an adult.” Random, I know, but hear me out. I love how flavorful it is. How easy it is to make in big batches. And how it’s so wonderfully filling and stick-to-your-ribs-y. Spinach and parmesan risotto was actually the first dish I photographed for this blog. It didn’t even make it on as a real recipe, but I remember photographing it in my apartment in New York on my desk as a photo trial. I wish I could find the photo, but you’ll just have to trust me.
To this day, it’s one of my favorite dishes to make. And it’s perfect for the transition between summer and fall. Warm and comforting, yet still fresh and unique. This Tomato and Shrimp Risotto takes advantage of beautiful late summer heirloom tomatoes, as well as fresh shrimp and a boatload of parm. Because what’s risotto without parm?
Bonus: It also freezes really well. So you can make it on the weekend and have it any night of the week.
What is risotto?
Because risotto is a popular dish at Italian restaurants, many people mistakenly believe it’s a pasta dish. Plot twist: risotto is actually a rice dish! To make real risotto, you need to use a special kind of rice called arborio rice (any major grocery store chain should carry it). While the arborio rice cooks, it releases its starches, which is what makes risotto so creamy and delicious. Risotto is typically made with broth or stock and a little wine, plus lots of cheese. It’s a surprisingly easy dish to make, but it’s a total crowd pleaser.
Tips on how to make risotto
You should be able to follow my instructions in the recipe card below quite easily, but here are a few top tips for making homemade tomato and shrimp risotto:
Add the broth a little at a time — Risotto uses a special cooking technique where you stir in only a little broth at a time and wait for it to be absorbed into the rice before adding more to the pot. This gives the rice time to release its starches and prevent you from over cooking the rice (if that happens to you, don’t worry! We’ve all been there).
Warm the stock in a saucepan — While the risotto is busy bubbling away, keep the stock you intend to add to the risotto in a saucepan over low heat. Adding warm broth to the warm risotto will speed up the entire cooking process.
Use freshly grated parmesan — I’m all for saving money on groceries, but for a dish as simple as risotto it’s important that you use freshly grated parmesan cheese. The stuff in the shaker can’t hold a candle to the real stuff, not to mention it’s too powdery to properly melt into the creamy shrimp and tomato risotto.
Side note, I’m coming up with new recipes for the fall. What would you guys like to see on the old blahg? Let me know in the comments below!
Simmer white wine and chicken stock in a small saucepan.
Rinse the arborio rice in cold water, then shake to remove excess. Place rice, onion, and olive oil into a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Allow for the onions to become slightly translucent, about 3 minutes.
Turn heat to low. Add in 1/2 cup of the stock at a time, stirring to combine it with the rice. Once it is absorbed, add in another 1/2 cup of stock. Once broth is used up, add in tomato and shrimp, stirring to cover the shrimp completely. Allow to cook for another 5-7 minutes, until the shrimp is completely cooked through. Add in parsley, parmesan cheese, and juice of 2 limes, cooking for an additional 3-5 minutes, until the rice is creamy and al dente.
Remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes, during which time the rice will continue to cook. Serve with a healthy dose of parmesan and parsley!