For the shrimp stock
Shrimp tails and shells. (approx. 20)
5 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
½ tsp Fennel seeds
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups water
For the rice
2 cups Arborio Rice
1 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay
1/3 teaspoon saffron threads
20 medium size whole fresh shrimps
3 tbsp butter
½ cup freshly grated Reggiano Parmesan Cheese
Salt and pepper
Handful of fresh parsley leaves
Place the saffron threads in one cup of the white wine. Set aside for later when cooking rice.
Remove the heads from the shrimps, the shells including tail. Once cleaned and deveined, cut the shrimps into small pieces, approx. 2 or 3. Set aside
In a large saucepan add 3-4 tbsp some olive oil. Place shells into the saucepan and fry the shells in the olive oil until they change colour. Add the fennel seeds than deglaze with white wine.
Add 4 cups of tap water. Add one bay leaf, tomato paste. Give them a crush and leave to simmer very gently for 30 minutes.
Once done, strain and keep liquid. Throw away shells. Keep stock hot, using a very low burner, ready for pouring into rice.
In the meantime, in another frying pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and heat it very hot, but not smoking. Add the cleaned shrimp pieces and sear until coloured. This should only take less than 30 seconds. Set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed large frying pan, add 2tbsp olive oil and one tbsp of butter. Once melted, add the finely chopped shallots, sweat a little then the rice. Toss or mix with a wooden spoon constantly until the grains turn opaque, do not toast. Deglaze with the saffron infused white wine and gently simmer until there’s no liquid.
Once the rice has absorbed all the wine, add enough stock to barely cover the rice, one ladle at a time. Simmer very slowly until all the stock has been absorbed. Add some salt. Keep repeating this step one ladle at a time.
Continue adding the stock, allowing the stock to be absorbed slowly as you toss or gently mix the rice. Always wait for the liquid to be absorbed first before adding more stock. This should take approx. 20 minutes. Taste a little of the rice towards the end to make sure it’s not underdone and adjust seasoning with any salt and pepper. You want to cook the rice just al dente, not crunchy not soft.
After all the stock has been absorbed into the rice, Add the cooked shrimp, and mix well for 30 seconds just to reheat. Take the rice off the heat and stir in the butter until melted. Add the grated Parmesan cheese, mix well and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped parsley or parsley leaves.