Risotto with spring peas and prawns


Serves 4

  • 2 litres vegetable stock

  • 4 cups peas in their pods (or 1 cup shelled peas)

  • 12 green prawns, peeled and deveined, tails left in-tact, shells and heads reserved

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve

  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter

  • 2  2/3 cups  arborio rice

  • 7 oz dry white wine

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



1. Place the stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

2. Shell the peas and add a handful of pods to your stock along with the reserved prawn heads and shells.

3. Heat the oil and half the butter in a large, heavy-based frying pan over low-medium heat. Add the rice and stir until all the grains are well coated in the fat and lightly toasted. Add the wine and simmer, stirring occasionally until it no longer smells of alcohol. Start adding the stock, a few ladlefuls at a time so that the rice is always submerged. Don’t over stir. Just do it gently and occasionally. The more you stir, the more you have to stir to stop it from sticking! Cook, adding more stock as necessary for 15-16 minutes or until the rice is almost al dente.

4. Stir in the peas, then taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking. At this point turn off the heat. Add the remaining butter and another ladleful of stock and stir vigorously to release the starch. Stir in the prawns, cover and stand for 2-3 minutes to allow the residual heat to cook them through. In this time the rice will also continue cooking which is why it’s important to turn the heat off when it’s still quite al dente. Serve in shallow bowls, drizzled with a little extra oil and eat straight away!

Silvia Colloca shares her Italian family secrets in the brand-new series, Cook like an Italian.

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