Shrimp scampi risotto recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Shrimp Scampi Risotto

One time I was making shrimp scampi risotto for dinner with my friend Kirsten when we were living in Malibu and while searching for the risotto rice at the local grocery store when we ran into Eva Longoria. Of course she was wearing six-inch heels and a designer dress while doing her grocery shopping. She dropped her can of soup on the ground so I picked it up for her. You could say that we are friends now. 

A mentor once advised me to never cook with a wine you would not drink. Once the wine reduces and the alcohol burns off you are only left with the residual flavor of the wine so you want it to taste good. 

Risotto takes some effort and arm work. The rice needs to be stirred frequently to draw the starch from the rice make it creamy without adding heaps of cheese or additional dairy. Using the warmed stock and adding it a little at a time helps keep the risotto creamy - using cold stock will sieze the starch in the grains of rice and you won’t get the desired texture.


For the risotto:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¾ cup chopped yellow onion

1 cup uncooked Arborio rice

3 cups chicken stock, heated

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


For the shrimp & scampi sauce:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound jumbo shrimp (16/20 per pound), peeled & deveined

Kosher salt, as needed

Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

6 cloves garlic, minced

1½ cups white wine

1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

½ teaspoon dried tarragon



For the risotto:

Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through.  Add the onion, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in the rice, sauté in the olive oil, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds, then add ¼ cup of the chicken stock. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir constantly until all stock has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock ¼ cup at a time, stirring frequently, until all of the stock has been used and rice is al dente, about 20 to 25 minutes. Once the risotto is al dente remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Set aside and keep warm.  

For the shrimp & scampi sauce:

Place a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and heat through. Season the shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper and arrange in the pan. Sauté on both sides until pink and no longer translucent, about 1½ minutes per side. Remove the shrimp from the pan and allow to drain on paper towels.

Return the pan to medium-high heat; add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Stir in the wine and let reduce by a third. Add the lemon juice stir, cooking for about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter one piece at a time, stirring until creamy. Stir in parsley and tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For serving:

Ladle the risotto into warm pasta bowls then ladle scampi sauce over, dividing the shrimp evenly between the bowls.


Serves 4



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