Risotto gamberetti e zucchine

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.

Risotto gamberetti e zucchine


olive oil

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.

Risotto gamberetti e zucchine


Cocktail Shrimp

Cocktail Shrimp

Cocktail shrimp is making a comeback! Remember those days when shrimp served at parties was rubbery, and it came with an all too sweet or sour cocktail sauce straight from the can? Well, those days are over. Now we prepare the sauce ourselves and look to the East for some inspiration. This particular sauce is made with tamarind – a tropical tree with an edible fruit – that is used in cuisines all over the world. Tamarind is quite sour, but the fruit becomes sweeter as it matures. As an end result you get a spicy, sweet and tangy appetizer that can be served in many ways according to your personal taste.

Cocktail ShrimpIngredients:

4 cm/1.5 inch piece of tamarind


1 tsp fennel seeds

0.5 tsp black cumin

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

4-5 garlic cloves, minced

4 cm/1.5 inch piece of fresh ginger, gratedCocktail Shrimp

5 dry red chilies

2 tsp dark sugar

500 gr/1 pound large shrimp, cooked and peeled

fresh cilantro (coriander), finely chopped


Put a 4 cm/1.5 inch piece of tamarind in a small heatproof bowl. Pour a little bit of boiling water over the tamarind and set the bowl aside. Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the fennel, black cumin and fenugreek seeds and swirl them around for a minute before adding the minced garlic, ginger and the red chilies. After another minute, add the tamarind liquid and the dark sugar into the mixture. Add the large shrimp and keep cooking for about 15 minutes until the sauce becomes syrupy and the shrimp have a pink color. Garnish with fresh cilantro. This dish is best served at room temperature with Martini bianco or Prosecco.

Cannelloni all’ orientale

This recipe takes a completely new look at one of the most iconic Italian dishes. Cannelloni – Italian for large reeds – are usually filled with ricotta and spinach, and covered by a tomato or béchamel sauce. Some variants have a meat filling. But this recipe offers cannelloni with a twist – an oriental filling with shrimp, fresh cheese and curry powder. Yes, curry powder. And it is definitely worth a second look…                                 

Cannelloni all' orientaleIngredients:

250 gr cannelloni

500 gr shrimp, cooked and peeled

2 onions, in thin slices

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

oil for frying

1 tsp curry powder

200 gr fresh cheese (garlic and herbs)

2 tbsp dill, finely chopped

lemon pepper to taste

500 gr passata di pomodoro

1 dl double cream

150 gr melting cheese, like mozzarella


Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute the onions and garlic. Add the curry powder and mix well. After sauteing for a few minutes, add the cooked and peeled shrimp and the fresh cheese. Let the fresh cheese melt. Season with finely chopped dill and lemon pepper.

Cannelloni all' orientaleWith the help of a tea spoon, fill the cannelloni tubes with the shrimp mixture and set them into a baking dish. Mix the passata di pomodoro with the double cream and pour over the filled cannelloni tubes. Bake in the oven on 225 °C for 20 minutes, add the melting cheese, and bake further for 10 minutes. Serve with a green salad. As a starter you might offer savoury cupcakes.

Savoury cupcakes with frosting

Oftentimes planning and preparing for Christmas means cooking those oh so traditional dishes – yet again. Traditions have, indisputably, an important role to play, but if you are looking for something new to replace those usual suspects or ways to broaden the choice on the dinner table, this recipe might have something delicious to offer. Fast and easy to make, these cupcakes can be served as a quick snack, with an aperitif, or as a starter. And when it comes to frosting, try different types of fresh cheese, and perhaps even caviar. The sky’s the limit…..

Savoury cupcakes with frosting


4 eggs

185 gr fresh cheese (garlic and herbs/chives/shrimp)

5 dl wheat flour

4 tbsp rolled oats

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp dill

1 dl olive oil

6-8 olives, finely chopped (optional)


150 gr fresh cheese (garlic/garlic and herbs)

100 gr shrimp

lemon pepper


Savoury cupcakes with frostingCream the eggs and fresh cheese until smooth. Sift the dry ingredients. Combine the smooth egg and fresh cheese mix, olive oil and the dry ingredients.

With the help of an eating spoon, pour the dough into muffin forms to about 3/4 full. Bake on 200 °C for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool down. Spread some fresh cheese on the cupcakes and garnish with shrimp and lemon pepper. Yield: 16 muffins.

Risotto con gamberetti, zucchine e pomodorini

Shrimp, zucchini and cherry tomatoes – ingredients favored by Southern Italy’s Campania region. This yummy risotto is full of flavor and will reward those who have the patience to let the shrimp marinade for several hours, preferably overnight. Invest some money for good shrimp, and more importantly, for good risotto rice like Arborio or Carnaroli.



1.5 dl dry white wine

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp lemon

flat leaf parsley, chopped

500 gr cooked and peeled large shrimp


olive oil

1 onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

2.5 dl risotto rice

5 dl fish stock

1 dl dry white wine

250 gr cherry tomatoes

1 zucchini, sliced


Marinade: Mix the ingredients for the marinade. Add the cooked and peeled shrimp. Mix well and let the mixture marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Stir occasionally.

Risotto: Heat the olive oil in a pan. Saute the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and continue frying until the rice grains have a glassy color. Add cooking liquids (fish stock, some marinade and cooking liquid of the shrimp) when needed. In a separate pan, saute the zucchini slices lightly. Fry the large shrimps in olive oil until they are soft, but somewhat chewy inside. Add the cherry tomatoes, lightly fried zucchini slices and the sauteed shrimp when the risotto is cooked al dente after ca. 15 minutes. Mix and serve immediately.