Creamy Risotto with Spicy Pesto Shrimp and Mascarpone looks elegant and complicated, but it doesn’t take much heavy lifting in the kitchen. In this recipe, we marinate shrimp in hot & spicy pesto for a little extra heat. On top of that, adding mascarpone cheese at the end results in a rich, creamy, satisfying meal.
- SERVES: 6-8
- LEVEL: Super Simple
- In a medium saucepan, bring stock to a boil and simmer over low heat to keep warm.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and lemon zest, and cook until fragrant and paste is mixed in, about 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the rice is coated in the onion mixture and the kernels are translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the wine to the rice mixture and cook, stirring, until all the wine is absorbed. Ladle 3/4 cup of the hot stock into the rice, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 3 minutes. The mixture should be just thick enough to leave a clear wake behind when you drag a spoon through it.
- Continue adding stock in this manner (about 3/4 cup at a time), stirring constantly, until all of the stock has been used, about 25 minutes. When the stock is gone, the rice will appear mostly translucent, but still slightly opaque, with an al dente texture. The liquid in the saucepan should resemble heavy cream with rice kernels suspended throughout.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and mascarpone cheese.
- Meanwhile, place shrimp in a medium bowl. Pour pesto on top and stir to combine. Let the shrimp marinate for at least 15 minutes.
- When the shrimp is ready to cook, thread it onto skewers.
- Heat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat. Place the skewers on the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until shrimp are pink and opaque. Broiler directions: Preheat the broiler. Place the shrimp skewers on a sheet pan coated with cooking spray. Broil for 2-3 minutes on each side or until shrimp are pink and opaque.
- To serve, spoon risotto onto plates and top with shrimp and fresh lemon juice. This dish pairs well with a crisp, dry white wine.