I also tried this with bay scallops instead of shrimp but prefer it with shrimp—their mild taste lets the fresh Parmesan and basil come through. Prep: 20 minutes; Cook: 33 minutes.
1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 basil leaves, cut into thin strips (chiffonade), divided (see Test Kitchen Tip, below)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper
4 to 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine (such as Chardonnay)
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
How to Make It
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. In a large mixing bowl, toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and 3 basil leaves. Sauté shrimp in 2 batches, if necessary, to prevent overcrowding. Cook about 1 minute per side, and remove from pan; place on a platter, cover loosely, and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium, and heat remaining olive oil and butter in the same pan. Add onion, and sauté, stirring frequently, 2 minutes or until tender and translucent. Add garlic and red pepper, and sauté, stirring constantly, 1 minute more.
Bring broth to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Turn off heat, cover, and keep warm.
Add rice to onion mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until grains are well coated and the outsides turn translucent. (Do not let rice brown.) Add white wine, and cook 30 seconds or until most of it evaporates.
Add 1 cup chicken broth, and stir constantly until mostly absorbed. Add additional broth in 1-cup increments, stirring after each addition until most of the broth is absorbed. Stop adding broth when rice appears to be saturated. (You may not need all 5 cups broth.) Cook, stirring frequently, 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and creamy but not mushy.
Stir in corn, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Stir in shrimp and any collected juices. Reduce heat to low, and cook until warm, not more than 1 minute. Add a little more chicken broth if risotto gets too dry. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan and remaining basil. Season with additional sea salt and pepper, if desired. Top with remaining Parmesan, and serve warm.
Test Kitchen Tip: "Chiffonade" may sound fancy and French, but it's just a fast, easy way to cut thin, even strips of basil or any other leafy green: Stack the leaves, roll them lengthwise (like a cigar), and carefully chop crosswise.
Kitchen Confidential: Sara's Secrets for Perfect Risotto:
The spoon: A regular spoon will work, but a risotto spoon will get the tender results you're looking for. Rice passes through the spoon's hole instead of getting mashed.
The rice: Once the rice turns glossy and translucent, it is fully coated with olive oil and butter and ready for the liquid.
The broth: Keep it hot! For maximum absorption and creamy texture, make sure the chicken broth is still hot when it's added to the risotto.
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