Gamberi con Riso

A delicious rice dish from Italy, Gamberi con Riso (gam-beh-ree kohn ree-soh) may be eaten entirely on its own with only a green salad to follow. Serve it with a well chilled Toscano Bianco. Italian rice, unlike basmati or patna, needs washing or soaking. The amount of liquid required depends on the specific type of rice used – in this recipe we have used Avorio, which, the amount specified here, absorbs exactly l{ pints of liquid.

2 oz. butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 medium-sized red pepper, white pith removed, seeded and chopped

4 oz. button mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped

½ teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

12 oz. Italian rice, such as Avorio

12 oz. frozen shrimps, thawed and shelled

1 ½ pints boiling fish stock or water

2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

In a large, heavy frying-pan, melt half of the butter with the oil over moderately high heat. When the foam subsides, reduce the heat to moderate. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper and fry them, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the mushrooms, basil, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the rice, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimps and cook for 1 minute. Add approximately one-third of the boiling stock or water. Regulate the heat so that the rice is bubbling all the time. Stir the rice occasionally with a fork. When the rice swells and the liquid is absorbed, add another one-third of the stock or water. Continue cooking the rice in this way until the rice is tender and moist but still firm.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and the cheese. Turn the mixture into a warmed serving dish and serve.