Shrimp Saganaki Risotto
I love taking classic Greek recipes such as this shrimp saganaki, a tavern favourite, and transforming them into something novel. Here’s a great and easy risotto that speaks Greek and is easy to love.
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 lb. head-on shrimp shells and heads removed and reserved, shrimp cut into 1" pieces
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2/3 cup dry white wine divided
- 1 medium carrot scrubbed, halved crosswise
- 1 celery stalk halved crosswise
- 6 large sprigs thyme
- 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 2 large onions peeled, halved through root end, divided
- 1 head of garlic cloves separated, peeled, divided
- 2 star anise pieces
- Greek sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 4 tablespoons ouzo
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 6 oz. Greek feta at room temperature divided
- 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives
- Make the shrimp stock (You can do this two days ahead): Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add shrimp heads and shells and cook, stirring occasionally, until shells are bright red, 5–8 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and stir around in the pot for about a minute, until it starts to brown and stick a little to the bottom.
- Add 1/3 cup wine and cook, scraping up brown bits, until almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add carrot, celery, thyme sprigs, peppercorns, 2 onion halves, all but 4 garlic cloves, star anise, and 8 cups water. Toss in a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil over medium-high.
- Reduce heat and simmer until stock is reduced by one-quarter and very fragrant, about an hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids. Keep warm over low heat.
- Make the risotto: Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent and softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add rice and cook, stirring often, until grains are almost entirely translucent and starting to stick to bottom of pot, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/3 cup wine and cook, stirring, until wine is almost completely evaporated. Add ouzo and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 45 seconds.
- Ladle in about 1 cup warm stock and cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed. Repeat process, adding more stock as each addition is absorbed, until rice is tender but not mushy, 25–30 minutes
- Season risotto with salt and pepper and stir in shrimp. Cook, stirring, until shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and finely grate in lemon zest. Add butter and feta. Stir gently to incorporate.
- Spoon risotto onto warmed plates sprinkle with chives. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve.