Last weekend I had a sudden urge for authentic Italian food. So out came my mother’s recipe book’s recipe book. I finally made her Lemony Prawn and Pea Risotto after much contemplation. And I am SO glad I did!
The result was an incredible culinary delight, a plate of creamy, lemony risotto accompanied by a fresh pea salad with succulent large prawns.
I have never had a better Italian dish than this Prawn and Pea Risotto. And, this risotto recipe is easy to make.
Lemony Prawn and Pea Risotto is a risotto recipe that is light on the nose, yet savory and rich in flavor. After all, that’s what risotto is all about, isn’t it? Pairing a delicate seafood risotto with a hearty filling soup? As if the combination was meant to be.
If you’re looking for a creamy, zesty risotto, this Lemony Prawn and Pea Risotto is it. With lemon juice and zest, this Italian risotto recipe has a citrus flair that’s complimented by delicious roasted prawn.
You can make this recipe yourself and it comes together quickly. Serve with a glass of fine wine for an elegant dinner that is easy to prepare.
Arborio rice provides a rich creaminess that goes so well with the prawns. This dish is especially good served for lunch since it's the right amount of delicious risotto to enjoy. Dinner is also a good option.
A good risotto recipe can be both a side dish and a main dish. A prawn risotto is satisfying as a main course, but others may serve it as a side dish alongside your favorite grilled fish. Regardless, it’s absolutely delicious.
🧀 To Cheese or not to Cheese?
It is not common in Italian cuisine to combine seafood with dairy. Grated Parmesan cheese is optional in this recipe. You can make this recipe with or without parmesan.
We think both ways are delicious. You can make it however you like. Without the parmesan cheese, it will still be rich and creamy.
There are people who love the additional flavor Parmesan adds to foods, while there are others who don’t. It’s completely up to you.
📋 How to Make Mom's Lemony Prawn and Pea Risotto
The risotto is one of my favorite foods! I love how filling and creamy it is. Despite this, I'm not a fan of how they used to make it traditionally. Thanks to this risotto recipe, you don’t have to stir for hours and end up with sore arms!
In less than an hour, you can have a tasty, filling dinner ready to serve after about 15 minutes of prep and 40 minutes of cooking!
🥘 Ingredient Notes
Fish or chicken stock - you can use vegetable stock or even bone broth, which would give you even more added health benefits.
Large prawns (or shrimp) - you'll, peeled, deveined, and leave the tails on. If you can't find prawns, you can use large shrimp.
Extra virgin olive oil - Cooking with extra virgin olive oil is one of the best things you could do! Extra virgin olive oil is ideal for cooking, frying, sauteing, poaching, dressing, and baking. Cooking with olive oil adds a unique flavor profile to your dishes that you will only find in extra virgin olive oil.
Small yellow onion - Onions, especially caramelized onions, are a popular addition to a great risotto.
Large stalk celery - finely diced to add some additional flavor.
Garlic cloves - what Italian recipe doesn't include garlic! It's a staple in Italian households. Plus, it tastes delicious!
Sea salt and black pepper - added to taste
Arborio rice - Most people know Arborio rice for its use in risotto. Short-grain to medium-grain rice, Arborio was named after the town of Arborio in the Po Valley, where it was originally cultivated.
Dry white wine - Well, it's Italian...wine is in just about everything!
Frozen peas - you can also use fresh peas, if preferred.
Fresh parsley - parsley provides that grounded tasted in risotto.
Fresh lemon zest - grind some of the lemon zest into the rice.
Fresh lemon juice - just an extra boost of lemony flavoring.
Parmesan cheese - cheese is not normally added in the true Italian version, however, I love some parmesan cheese on top of my risotto.
Large organic lemons - Lemons give this Risotto recipe its flavor. After all, it wouldn't be Lemony without the lemon.
🍚 RISOTTO RECIPE TIPS
The Arborio rice should not be rinsed before cooking. The extra starch is needed to create the creamy texture of this dish.
Put chopped half the prawns into the risotto, and stir it gently so each bite has even more flavor. Divide the remaining prawns between the servings and decorate each with a whole prawn.
If prawns are not available, you may substitute large shrimp instead.
🍪 Dessert Ideas for Lemony Prawn and Pea Risotto
👩🏻🍳 Frequently Asked Questions
How is Risotto Different than Rice?
Although it appears to be a type of rice, risotto is an Italian dish made with high-starch, short-grain rice such as Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano. It is an exceptionally absorbent type of rice that handles liquids well without becoming mushy.
Is Risotto a Pasta?
North Italian cuisine is dominated by risotto, a rice dish. A typical Italian meal consists of several courses brought to the table at precise intervals and risotto, like pasta, is considered the first course. While it is easy to prepare, it requires some time for the basic preparation.
Is Risotto Good for Weight Loss?
Italy's Arborio rice is filled with nutrients and is full of health benefits. There is a bit of starch in this white rice, but it does not contain a lot of carbohydrates. With Arborio rice you can lose weight in a short time while also maintaining a healthy eating plan.
What is the difference between Prawn and Shrimp?
While very similar, shrimp and prawn are not that same. Some may believe that prawn are simply big shrimp but they’re actually different crustaceans.
Shrimp live in saltwater while prawn live in freshwater and brackish (semi-salty) water.
There is also a difference in their shell and where it overlaps.
Prawns have a slightly sweeter flavor than shrimp, but the two taste very similar.
What makes Risotto Creamy?
In this delicious prawn risotto recipe, it is the Arborio rice which helps create the creamy texture. The rice is coated with extra starch, which you may rinse off for other recipes but it’s important not to do so when making risotto. The starch helps create that signature creamy texture of risotto and is how traditional Italian risotto stays creamy with no cheese.
- 5 c. fish or chicken stock, divided
- 1 lbs. large prawns (or shrimp), peeled, deveined, and tails-on
- ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 large stalk celery, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1½ c. Arborio rice
- ½ c. dry white wine
- 1 c. frozen peas
- 3 T. fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 t. fresh lemon zest, preferably organic
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
- ¼ c. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)
- 2 large organic lemons, quartered
1. I like to place the top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Line your large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat® baking mat. Set aside.
2. Then add the fish or chicken stock to a large saucepan and bring it to a light simmer over medium heat.
3. Nest up, add the prawns to a large bowl and drizzle with two tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and toss to combine. Spread shrimp into an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Set aside.
4. In a separate large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add
the onion, celery, and garlic. Season salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir
to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes soft and
translucent, approximately 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the Arborio rice to the skillet and lightly toast, stirring continually, for
approximately 1-2 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir continually until the wine
is almost fully absorbed, approximately 2-3 minutes.
6. Add one half cup of the warm fish or chicken stock the skillet and stir constantly until it is absorbed into the rice, approximately 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining stock, stirring continually until the excess liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through, approximately 25-30 minutes total.
7. Add the peas to the risotto in the last 5 minutes of cooking and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired.
8. Once the peas are added to the risotto, place the prepared prawns into the
pre-heated oven and roast for 5-6 minutes, or until they are opaque. Do not
overcook. Remove from oven and set aside.
9. When the peas are heated through, stir the fresh parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and grated cheese (if using) into the risotto until thoroughly combined. Serve immediately topped with the roasted prawns and fresh lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 556Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 272mgSodium: 1027mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 72g