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19 December, 2013

Risotto alla Crema di Scampi

Posted in : Food, Recipes, Uncategorized on by : Reema Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I tried this creamy saffron and prawn risotto on my first trip to Rome many years ago. We had some excellent food on our Roman holiday but this  particular meal near our hotel in Testaccio was without a doubt, the best and most memorable.

Risotto alla Crema di Scampi is clearly a Roman specialty as I haven’t come across it anywhere else in Italy.  I’ve tried hunting down recipes many times over the years without much success  but got lucky a few days ago when I found a few Risotto alla Crema di Scampi recipes…all in Italian! Thank God for Google Translate!

The recipes I found online were all quite complex, requiring even the fish stock to be made from scratch. Of course, I wasn’t about to do any of that. None of them called for saffron either, a flavour that I remembered and wanted in the risotto.

I decided to trust my own culinary sensibilities and have a go at making my version of this dish. And, it comes close, very close, to the real thing. Yay!


Risotto alla Crema di Scampi

  • Fish stock 750ml (I used Knorr fish stock pots dissolved in hot water)
  • Saffron, 2 pinches
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Splash of brandy
  • 100g Passata or chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml cream
  • 200g arborio rice
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • Splash of white wine
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Black pepper
  • Prepare 750ml fish stock, add 1 pinch of saffron, and set aside.
For the ‘Crema di Scampi’
  • Saute garlic in olive oil then add peeled, uncooked prawns and cook until pink.
  • Add a splash of brandy.
  • Add passata, 1 ladle fish stock, 1 pinch saffron and simmer for 5 mins with the lid on.
  • Transfer to blender, add 100ml cream and make the gorgeous saffron coloured ‘crema’.
  • Put back on the pan with lid on and simmer for another 5 mins to thicken the crema.
For the Risotto
  • Saute the onions in olive oil until soft.
  • Add rice, stir and cook for about a minute and then add a splash of white wine.
  • Start mixing in the remaining fish stock, a little bit a time, adding in more when the risotto looks dry.
  • Give it a good stir each time you add the stock.
  • Add the crema when risotto is half-cooked and then continue adding the fish stock a little bit at a time.
  • When  fully cooked, take off heat, add a little parmesan cheese and butter and stir.
  • Serve immediately with some black pepper and grated parmesan!

Buon Appetito!

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