Venetian Risotto with Prawns Recipe

I like rice, but I love risotto, especially this Venetian Risotto with Prawns inspired by my last trip to Venice, Italy. If you’ve visited Northern Italy, you most likely have enjoyed a risotto or two. Milan is famous for its Risotto alla Milanese, or saffron rice, and Venice near the sea, for a variety of seafood risottos.

Rice was first introduced to Italian cuisine in the 13th century in Sicily. Although eating rice in Italy began in the South, the majority of the rice grown is in Northern Italy. And risotto is a traditional dish of Northern Italy with different cities known for different risotto recipes.

Venetian Risotto with Prawns

Venetian Risotto with Prawns

How to Make Venetian Risotto with Prawns

Everything you need to know to make homemade prawn, shrimp or fish risotto!

Can I Use This Risotto Recipe to Make Risotto with Shrimp?

Shrimp and prawns can be the same thing depending on where you live, but prawns are larger. This Venetian Risotto with Prawns recipe can be modified for most any type of seafood as the delicate lemon, garlic, and white wine flavors, similar to Shrimp Scampi, compliments fish as well as shrimp and other shellfish.

What Rice Do You Use for Risotto with Prawns?

For texture and creaminess, Arborio rice is preferred for Italian risotto, but Carnaroli, Maratelli, or Vialone nano can also be used. Like the famous Roman dish, cheese and pepper pasta aka Cacio e Pepe, much of the creaminess comes from the retention of starch, so whichever rice you choose, do not wash it.

Is It Easy to Make Homemade Risotto From Scratch?

It is surprisingly easy to make homemade risotto from scratch. Just like with most recipes, getting all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking, makes homemade risotto go smoothly. Because you add the broth a little at a time, and need to stir often, risotto from scratch can be intimidating. But it’s a one-pot meal that really just takes about a half hour to cook. It just needs a little attention.

Is Cheese Recommended For Risotto with Prawns?

Italians have an unwritten rule, that cheese does not go on top of seafood dishes. However, Americans tend to put parmesan on everything. So, if you want to serve an authentic seafood risotto, leave the cheese in the fridge, but if you prefer the taste with it, go for it!

Ingredients for Venetian Risotto with Prawns

Ingredients for Venetian Risotto with Prawns

Venetian Risotto with Prawns Recipe

Servings: 6-8

8 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup onion, chopped small
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
6 cups chicken broth
1 pound prawns, peeled and detailed
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)
1 lemon sliced

Prawns for homemade risotto.

Peeled and detailed prawns for homemade risotto.

1. Melt half of the butter (4 tablespoons) in the bottom of a stock pot or heavy sauce pan on medium-low heat.

2. Add the garlic and onions and cook until the onions are translucent about 4 minutes. 3. Add the Arborio rice and stir. Cook for about 3 minutes.

4. Add the dry white wine, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and stir.

5. Microwave the broth so that it is at least slightly hot.

6. When most of the liquid is cooked off, add one cup of broth and stir. 7. Stir intermittently until most of the liquid is cooked off. Continue until one cup of broth is left.

8. Add the remaining broth and prawns and stir.

Prawns added to the Venetian Risotto

Prawns added to the Venetian Risotto

8. Add half of the remaining butter (2 tablespoons) and stir intermittently until the prawns are cooked through and pink.

10. Add the remaining butter and stir in until melted. 11. Add 3/4 of the parsley (1 1/2 tablespoons) and stir to mix well.

12. Plate and serve immediately, and garnish with remaining parsley, lemon zest, and lemon slices.

Tips for Making Venetian Risotto with Prawns

  1. For an even fancier presentation, retain a few shrimp with tails on. Cook them in butter and use as a garnish.

  2. Vegetable broth can be substituted for chicken broth.

  3. Any dry white wine that you would normally drink will work well. Don’t use a wine you don’t like. If you don’t like the taste for drinking, you will not want it in your prawn risotto.

Fancy plated Prawn Risotto with extra shrimp on top.

Fancy plated Prawn Risotto with extra shrimp on top.

What to Serve with Prawn Risotto?

Prawn Risotto as Entree

This prawn risotto is really a meal in itself. If you feel you need something additional, a green vegetable will brighten the plate and pair well. Roasted Brussels sprouts or broccoli would be my pick.

Prawn Risotto As A Primi or Risotto Appetizer

If you are serving a risotto appetizer, an Italian entree is a no-brainer. Mediterranean fare will also follow nicely like Mediterranean Lamb Chops, or consider dishes from French cuisine, like Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Serving Prawn Risotto with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts.

Serving Prawn Risotto with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts.

Can You Prepare Italian Risotto Ahead of Time?

Yes and no. In general risotto recipes are best the first time around, and when it’s immediately prepared, so I don’t usually advise meal prepping. However, if you’d like to serve this Venetian Risotto with Prawn recipe to guests, and don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen, here are some tips:

  1. Follow the above risotto recipe steps 1-7 until you have 1 cup of broth left.

  2. Cover and let it sit until you are ready to serve.

  3. The remaining steps will take about 5-7 minutes. Add the remaining broth, plus an additional tablespoon of lemon juice, splash of white wine, and all remaining ingredients at the same time.

Pin for Prawn Risotto

Pin for Prawn Risotto

Pin for Risotto with Prawns

Pin for Risotto with Prawns