Have you ever made risotto? I have eaten plenty, but I have never made it from scratch. The closest I have come is a pre-packaged just-add-water risotto mix. My favorite is Alessi Porcini Mushroom Risotto—it’s an excellent side dish with a steak and spinach salad. It is an easy weeknight dinner with a touch of luxury. But today I’m actually going to make my risotto from scratch with this Creamy Shrimp Risotto with Bacon recipe. It sounds truly luxurious, and I’m super excited to give it a try!
Creamy Shrimp Risotto with Bacon is THE dish to make for Date Night In. This combines a slow-cooked risotto with sautéed bacon and shrimp, all topped with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. So fancy, so delicious!
The star of this risotto recipe is the shrimp, and I just happened to have a pound in the freezer. The recipe calls for them to be peeled, deveined, and their tails removed. Mine were deveined, but I had to remove the shells and tails. It was surprisingly fast to do since the shells had been sliced open for deveining. The shrimp were also large and there were only 20 to peel.
My pre-shopping pantry/refrigerator check yielded a few more ingredients. I had the basics like salt, pepper, butter, and olive oil on hand. I also had some chicken broth concentrate, a yellow onion, and a mini bottle of chardonnay.
And as luck would have it, I had enough leftover grated parmesan cheese from the Nourishing White Bean Soup I made recently. Oh, and I always keep arborio rice on hand to make Avgolemono Soup (it’s a regular on my menu).
That really shortened my shopping list for this recipe. All I needed to buy was garlic and bacon. And the bacon was on BOGO, so I was quite pleased.
There is a lot of stirring to make risotto. A lot! That meant a lot of hands-on active time with no inactive time when I usually tidy up. I had dishes to do when dinner was over, but hubby stepped up 🙂
First off was the prep work. I had everything chopped, minced, and measured before I began cooking. I included the time to peel and remove the shrimp tails. The recipe list 10 minutes for prep and mine took 9 minutes.
Next, I heated the oil and butter in my smaller saucepan and sauteed the onions, garlic, and rice per step 1. My only mild hesitation was that seasoning with salt and pepper had to be done at the start. I went light on the salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) because I would be adding bacon and parmesan cheese, and it worked very well.
Adding the wine and broth a little at a time was the next step, stirring between until the liquid was absorbed by the rice. At the start, it took maybe 2 minutes to absorb, but that time increased as more and more liquid was added.
I managed to get the bacon into my cast-iron pan and fry it up as I stirred the risotto. Then I removed it to a paper-towel-covered plate to drain and fried the shrimp in the same pan. Luckily the bacon left just the right amount of fat, so I didn’t have to drain it. The shrimp took 1 minute per side, and my tongs were the perfect tool for the job.
The risotto finished after the shrimp and bacon. I stirred it almost constantly with small breaks so I could work on other steps. I removed the pan from the stove once I felt the risotto was at the right consistency and stirred in the parmesan.
My risotto from scratch was ready! I served it in pasta bowls topped with juicy shrimp and crispy bacon. Spoiler: it was absolutely amazing!
- 9 minutes to prep
- 39 minutes to cook*
- 48 minutes total
*The cooking time includes about 10 minutes to fry the bacon and 4 minutes to fry 2 batches of shrimp.
The recipe lists a total of 45 minutes, so I came very close to that.