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Gino's Italian Escape

Creamy Lemon Risotto With Seared Prawns

“The lemon gives an amazing fresh flavour to this risotto”
– Gino D’Acampo

Lemons are abundant in Sicily as they thrive in the volcanic soil and hot, sunny climate and their flavour and aroma are outstanding, so they’re used a lot in Sicilian dishes. When I was in Sicily filming for the TV series I spent a fabulous day visiting a citrus orchard and made this as a thank you for the wonderful people I met there.

If you want something extra special, try this dish with seared scallops instead of prawns.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
– 375g Arborio or Carnaroli rice
– 300ml dry white wine
– 1 litre hot vegetable stock
– Grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
– 60g mascarpone cheese
– Salt and white pepper
– 16 raw king prawns, peeled and deveined

DIRECTIONS

Heat half the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned. Add the rice and stir constantly for 2 minutes or until the grains are coated and shiny.

Pour over the wine and simmer for about 1 minute until it has evaporated. Add 2 ladlesful of the stock, bring to a simmer and stir until it is absorbed.

Continue adding the stock in the same way, stirring and waiting for it to be absorbed before adding more, until the rice is cooked but still has a slight bite. It should take about 16–18 minutes. You may not need to add all the stock.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon zest, three-quarters of the lemon juice, the parsley and mascarpone, stirring for about 30 seconds until creamy. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm while you cook the prawns.

Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and fry for 2 minutes each side. Pour over the remaining lemon juice.

To serve, spoon the risotto onto warm plates and arrange 4 prawns on top of each portion, then drizzle over some of the oil and lemon juice that the prawns were cooked in.

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