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Nici Wickes' Prawn & Lemon Risotto

Nici Wickes' Prawn & Lemon Risotto

It isn’t critical to stir the risotto continuously, but it is important to ensure that it doesn’t dry out, so keep an eye on it. Note: You can use bacon or sausage squeezed from its casing in place of prawns. Makes enough for one greedy person.


25g butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small- medium onion, finely (diced)
100g (about 2 handfuls) risotto rice
1/2 cup white wine
1–2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup peas
3–6 Aussie frozen raw prawns, thawed, shelled
Salt and pepper
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

To serve
A sprinkle of grated
A drizzle of top-quality olive oil


In a medium-sized, heavy-based pot or pan, melt the butter, add the olive oil and gently sauté the onion. Once the onion is soft and translucent, add the rice. Stir to coat in the oil and butter. Gently fry for 2–3 minutes, stirring. Don’t let the onion brown.

Pour in the wine and allow to bubble until almost evaporated. Add the stock, half a cup at a time, until all the stock is used and/or the rice is just cooked through.

It is important that the rice grains absorb most of the liquid before the next addition because this adds to the creaminess of the dish.

Add the peas and prawns and cook for 1–2 minutes or until prawns are pink and peas are cooked. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Toss in the lemon zest at this stage too.

Feel free to use this wee trick I learnt in Italy: once cooked, just before serving, shake the pot, front and back, so the risotto slaps against the sides. This helps to release the starches and makes the risotto extra creamy.

To serve, squeeze over lemon juice and sprinkle on the grated Parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil.

NB: Recipe from Nici Wickes' new book A Quiet Kitchen.

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