Mascarpone Risotto w/ Garlicky Shrimp & Snow Peas

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Followers of this blog know that I love risotto. Whether I serve it as a side dish or as a meal unto itself it is probably my single favorite dish. While I love to mix delicious ingredients into my risotto, sometimes they taste even better when they are served on top of the rice. Case in point is this dish. Thanks to the addition of rich mascarpone cheese, this risotto is mild and extra creamy. Garlicky shrimp and crisp snow peas complete the dish by adding flavor and texture to the meal. And if you really love garlic, go ahead and add more to the shrimp; the dish will have an extra kick without being over powering.

MASCARPONE RISOTTO w/ GARLICKY SHRIMP & SNOW PEAS

For the risotto:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 shallot, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

1/3 cup mascarpone cheese

  • Heat the broth in a medium sized saucepan set over medium-high heat. Once it simmers, reduce the heat to keep it hot without boiling.
  • Melt the butter in a large heavy stock pot set over medium heat.
  • Add the shallot and stirring occasionally, cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the rice and stir well until all of the grains are coated with the melted butter.
  • Pour in the wine and stir until it is almost completely evaporated.
  • Begin adding the broth, by the ladle full, stirring gently with each addition and cooking until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice before adding more. Do not let the rice dry out.
  • Continue adding the broth and cooking until the rice is creamy and tender but the grains are still firm. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. You may not need to use all of the broth.
  • Off the heat and beat in the mascarpone cheese until blended.

For the shrimp & pea pods

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 pound medium shrimp, deveined and tails removed

2 cups snow peas

  • After the risotto has been cooking for about 10 minutes, heat the oil in a large wok set over high heat.
  • When the oil shimmers, add the garlic and toss for 30 seconds.
  • Add the shrimp and tossing regularly with bamboo tongs, cook until the shrimp is no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the peas and cook for an additional minute.
  • Serve immediately over the risotto.

Serves 4

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