Carnaroli rice – nicknamed ‘the caviar of rice’ – is grown in the Italian towns of Novara and Vercelli, located between Milan and Turin. Carnaroli is traditionally used for making risotto, differing from the more common Arborio rice due to its higher starch content and firmer texture. Carnaroli keeps its shape better than other types of rice in the slow cooking process, making for a more textured dish. The extra starch in the Carnaroli rice is responsible for the creaminess of the risotto, so it is important not to wash the rice grains before cooking them. In this particular dish, the chili flakes add a welcome punch to the creaminess of the rice and the onion, and the bite-size zucchini slices should remain firm while the inside is soft, hot and juicy.
500 gr/ 1 pound large cooked and peeled shrimp
2.5 dl/ 1 cup dry white wine
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
2.5 dl/ 1 cup risotto rice (Carnaroli)
5 dl/ 2 cups vegetable stock
1 zucchini, sliced
1 tsp dry chili flakes
fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the large shrimp lightly together with minced garlic and white wine. Set aside but keep the juices the shrimp have released.
Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Saute the minced onion and garlic for a few minutes until the onion softens and becomes golden. Add the risotto rice and continue frying until the grains become glassy. Little by little, pour some vegetable stock and liquid from the pan you used to fry the shrimp. Keep stirring. Add the zucchini slices when the risotto is nearly ready. For Carnaroli rice it takes about 15 minutes to be al dente. At this point, add the already sauteed shrimp and mix without cooking any further. Season with chili flakes and sprinkle flat leaf parsley on each plate.