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Prawn and Porcini Risotto

  • 46 minutes
  • Medium
  • First Courses
This surf and turf recipe combines the rich flavors of prawns and mushrooms.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • ¼ oz scampi, medium
  • lb Carnaroli rice
  • 3 ½ oz Porcini Mushrooms
  • 1 ¾ oz onion
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 6 cups fish broth
  • ¾ oz butter
  • 3 ½ tablespoons white wine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Clean the prawns and separate the heads from the tails. Use a pairing knife to make an incision on the underside of the belly and use your finger to remove the meat, placing it in a bowl. Use the heads to make a fumet (a reduced broth), using about 6 cups of water and 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for at least 20 minutes. Then keep warm.

Clean the mushrooms by cutting off the tips of the stems and wash, if necessary, with a wet dishcloth. Then cut into thin slices.

Place a pot over medium heat. Add oil, and once it is hot, add crushed garlic. Do not let it brown. Once slightly golden, add the prawn meat and mushrooms.

Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the rice and toast it for a couple of minutes or until it becomes transparent. Then add the wine and, once almost all of it has evaporated, add a couple ladlefuls of boiling, filtered fumet. Lower the heat and continue to add fumet, a ladleful at a time, as it is absorbed by the rice.

After about 12 minutes, add washed, chopped arugula. After 5 more minutes, adjust the salt and pepper. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter and cognac.

Before serving, check to see if the risotto is too dry. If so, add more fumet or hot water. Stir and serve immediately.

Food History

Due to the difficulty of identifying edible mushrooms from the non-edible ones, mushrooms have always been both the loved by foodies and feared by people afraid of being poisoned. In the Middle Ages, for example, mushrooms were considered the food of witches and the fruit of Satan. The are many interesting stories about poisonous mushrooms, the most famous of which may be the one about Claudio, a Roman emperor who loved porcinis. According to the legend, the emperor risked death because he was served poisonous mushrooms by his wife Agrippina who wanted her son Nerone to take over the throne. 

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