We want to share with you the historic Valentino Inn, which is located in Portogruaro, Italy, a small medieval town which is also our hometown. This wonderful inn dates back to 1890, and until this day the Venetian cuisine and elegant ambiance make this a very special place to visit.
The Family Drigo, Paolo and Lorella, are personally involved in making each stay an authentic Italian experience time after time. Not only are you charmed by the historic inn and its unique décor, but your senses rejoice once you taste their food.
They are renowned throughout the Veneto region for their fish dishes. We are situated very close to the lagoon of Venice and the Adriatic coast, so here we have access to some of the best and freshest fish.
On a daily basis, Paolo and Lorella visit the very picturesque local fish market that we have in Portogruaro, where they choose the catch of the day, which they then serve at their inn’s restaurant. Therefore, their daily menu varies each day based on what they find fresh and what inspires them.
One of my favorite dishes is their Lagoon Shrimp and Prosecco Risotto.
Rice arrived to inland Veneto in the fourteenth century, and the Po Valley, which stretches from the Western Alps to the Adriatic Sea, proved to have the perfect climate for cultivating rice. Since rice became such a staple crop, the Venetians began cooking risotto, making a variety of dishes with it, combining it with meats, fish, and vegetables. Recipes for risotto are endless.
As you can see, risotto recipes are really a Venetian staple!
Paolo and Lorella shared their Shrimp and Prosecco recipe with me, and it is so AMAZING that I want to share it with you!
Until you have a chance to visit us in Italy, try making it in your own home and bring a little of Venice to your table (=
Ingredients for 4
- 1 ½ cups (300 grams) Carnaroli Organic Rice: the elegant cousin of Arborio, Carnaroli Rice has been nicknamed the “caviar of rice” and it is highly prized by chefs around the world for its bold white kernel, uniform starch release and deliciously creamy and palatable texture. A plump, short grain, it is the preferred rice for world-class risotto. (Arborio rice is also an acceptable substitution for this recipe)
- 1 large scallion onion (thinly chopped)
- 3 cups (3/4 liter) Shrimp stock (or vegetable broth)
- 16 large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 8 additional shrimp for topping the dish (peeled, deveined, and covered with some flour ready to be sautéed in the pan)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to toss the rice in
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for mantecatura (to create the creaminess at the end)
- 2 glasses of Candoni Prosecco (remainder of bottle to be consumed with meal)
- 1/8 cup (30 grams) “00” white flour or all-purpose flour
1) In a medium saucepan heat the stock and keep warm.
2) At low heat, heat the olive oil and add the scallions, sautéing very slowly without browning the onion. The onion has to become translucent. Add the rice to coat. Coating the rice, in fact, prevents the rice from overcooking and preserves the compactness of the grains; it keeps it al dente. (30 sec-1 min) Toasting the rice, in fact, seals the pores to increase holding the heat. (If you omit this step it may turn out more like boiled rice rather than risotto.)
3) Add 1 glass of Prosecco, constantly stirring — it will smell fantastic. Any harsh alcohol flavors will evaporate and leave the rice with a tasty essence. Make sure that all of the prosecco evaporates.
4) Once the prosecco has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a low simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next ladle.
5) 3 minutes before the end of the rice’s cook time (it varies depending on which rice you have chosen) add the 16 halved shrimp and 2nd glass of prosecco. Continue stirring until the rice is ready. During this time keep adding ladles of stock, stirring and almost massaging the starch out of the rice, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next. Taste the rice — is it cooked? Note that the rice should maintain a soft, creamy texture. Continue adding stock until the rice is soft but still with a slight firmness. Don’t forget to check the seasoning carefully. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some boiling water.
6) Remove from the heat and add the olive oil. Stir in well what we call in Italian the Mantecatura. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes. This is the most important part of making the perfect risotto, as this is when it becomes super creamy. Here we say it has to be all onda- like a wave!
7). During these 2 minutes take the 8 shrimp that you have covered in flour and cook them in a pan so that they are nice and golden.
8) Pour the rice on the plate and decorate with your cooked shrimp! Eat it as soon as possible, while the risotto retains its beautiful texture. Pair with Candoni Prosecco.