Spicy Shrimp with Tomato Basil Risotto


Today I decided I really need to focus the majority of my parenting efforts on not letting one of them get kidnapped. Yep, it’s going to be that simple for me going forward. Homemade baby food and story time – sayonara.

To break it down for you, there was one of me at the splash park yesterday with two [fast] mobile babies,  9 balls, 11 fountains, 50 screaming rambunctious kids, and 100 super friendly parents that wanted to talk about the twins. I loved all of this, every minute, until I was helping Price slap the water when I realized Bax had taken off and I couldn’t see him for .7 seconds. Panic! And I realize that I only have two kids and so many people have more and I’ve only had mine for 9 months, but I’m telling you.  My focus has shifted to simply bringing them home with me each day. That and putting on sunscreen.

In totally unrelated news, we had one of the meals of our life this week. As usual, my husband was the brains behind the operation. He comes up with ideas, and I execute. This dinner was so good and so special tasting – it is perfect for a dinner party but easy enough for a Sunday night. Why do I always make suggestions on what day of the week you should make things? Make it any damn night you want. You’ll love it. And if you’re cooking for someone who doesn’t like shrimp, either a spicy chicken or steak would be equally delicious. Shrimp are nice because they cook up so fast.


  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (about 30 count)
  • 2 teaspoons blackening seasoning (store bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1-1.5 teaspoons crushed red pepper, divided (.5 tsp for risotto, .5-1 tsp for shrimp)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or 1 tsp minced from jar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup white wine, divided (1/2 for risotto 1/2 for shrimp)
  • 3/4 of a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (juice included)
  • 1 cup risotto
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil

To prepare the risotto, heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook several minutes until translucent, then add the butter. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of the white wine and let reduce for a few minutes over medium heat. Stir in the tomatoes (plus juice), 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed red pepper and the 1 cup risotto; keep the heat on medium-low here to avoid burning the risotto. Just let the risotto soak up most of the liquid, then continue to add the chicken broth – about one cup at a time, adding as the risotto cooks up the liquid. The risotto is done when you have used all the broth and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the parmesan, oregano, and basil.

To cook the shrimp, it’s so EASY! First of all, when you go to the seafood counter there are tons of beautiful expensive shrimp that are shouting Buy me! Buy me! But you don’t need to. I got medium sized shrimp for $12.99/lb and they were delicious. And better for this dish than the giant ones. Just saying.

Heat some olive oil in a skillet, until the pan is hot.  Season the shrimp with the blackening seasoning and remaining 1/2-1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (depending on your desire for heat). This definitely gives it a kick, so simply use less red pepper if heat isn’t your thing. I found ~1/2 teaspoon to be plenty. Add the shrimp to the pan, let brown for 1 minutes, then flip and cook 2 more minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup wine to the pan, and cook until the wine is mostly reduced/gone. About 3-4 minutes. Serve the shrimp on top of the risotto, with some shaved parmesan and a glass of Rose, of course!