Recipe for a Romantic Dinner at Home

Don’t you love just be at home with your loved one and make a special dinner just for the two of you and watch a movie afterwards?

I think this is the ultimate friday night idea for two and I will suggest a recipe for that kind of date.

Parmesan Risotto with Roasted Shrimp

1 pound large shrimp
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, divided

Heat the oven to 400°F. Rinse the shrimp and pat them very dry. Toss them with olive oil and then the paprika and a generous quantity of salt and pepper. Spread them in a baking dish and return them to the refrigerator.

Warm the broth in a saucepan set over low heat.

In a separate Dutch oven or wide, deep sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until they are soft and beginning to brown around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir thoroughly to make sure it is coated with the butter and onions. Cook the rice for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine, stirring and scraping the pan until the wine has evaporated.

Begin incrementally adding the warm broth one ladle at a time, stirring frequently. Wait to add another ladle until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed by the rice. This gradual addition of liquid is key to getting the rice to release its starch and create its own delicious sauce, so don’t rush this step. If the broth is evaporating very quickly, or the rice is boiling hard, turn the heat down so you just see a gentle simmer and occasional plop. Expect this stage to take about 18 minutes, and to add most of the broth.

Begin tasting the rice after about 13 minutes to gauge how far it has cooked. The risotto is ready when the rice is still a bit chewy, and the dish has the consistency of thick porridge.

In the last 5 minutes of cooking the risotto, put the pan of prepared shrimp in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink.

When the risotto is ready, turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan and about 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve immediately, spreading risotto in pasta bowls and topping with shrimp and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.