Risotto with Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp and Parsnip

This is not really an Italian dish, as there are too many components and most Italians do not even know what a parsnip is. But it sure is delicious. The combination of flavors and textures is great: sweet plump shrimp wrapped in salty smoky crunchy bacon, velvety sweet parsnip puree, crispy parsnip bark, and chewy creamy risotto with a deep shrimp flavor, studded with garden peas.


For 2 servings

10 large shrimp

10 thin slices of smoked bacon or smoked pancetta

parsnip bark and parsnip puree from 500 grams (1.1 lbs) of parsnips

130 grams (2/3 cup) risotto rice

75 grams (1/2 cup) garden peas

1 Tbsp tomato paste

80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine

750 ml (3 cups) shrimp stock, see below

3 Tbsp butter

1 small onion, miced

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the shrimp stock

500 grams (1.1 lbs) of shrimp heads and shells

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stick, chopped


To make the shrimp stock, simmer the shrimp heads and shells with onion, carrot, and celery in a litre (4 cups) of water for half an hour.

Strain the stock and discard the solids, but not before squeezing all of the liquid out of those heads. That is where the flavor is.

Pat the shrimp dry and season lightly with salt. (The pink shrimp in the photo are just as raw as the grey ones. These red shrimp from Argentina just look that way.)

Wrap each shrimp in a slice of smoked bacon or smoked pancetta, and arrange on a grilling rack in a single layer.

Keep the shrimp stock hot to make the risotto.

Melt two tablespoons of butter in a wide thick bottomed pan. Add the onion and stir over medium heat until the onion is translucent.

Add the rice.

Stir over medium-high heat to toast the rice.

Add the white wine, and stir until it has evaporated.

Add a ladle of hot shrimp stock.

Stir until the stock has been absorbed.

When the stock has been absorbed, add another ladle of stock. Keep stirring and adding more stock until the rice is al dente, about 18 minutes. (If you run out of shrimp stock, use hot water instead.)

Add a tablespoon of tomato paste for color (and some flavor).

Add the peas while you are stirring the risotto. The moment to add the peas depends on how time the peas will need to be cooked. If they are small peas that were frozen (and blanched before frozen), only a couple of minutes will suffice.

Make sure the broiler is preheated by the time the rice is almost done.

Broil the bacon-wrapped shrimp, close to the broiler, until the bacon is golden brown and the shrimp barely cooked through, about 5 minutes. If the broiler is not hot enough or the shrimp too far away from the broiler, the shrimp will be overcooked before the bacon is golden and crunchy.

In the meantime, when the rice is al dente, turn off the heat, and add the remaining tablespoon of butter in small pieces.

Stir until the butter has melted, and allow to rest for a couple of minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Gently reheat the parsnip puree. It is best to fry the parsnip bark just before serving, so it will still be crispy.

Serve the risotto with parsnip puree, parsnip bark, and bacon-wrapped shrimp on preheated plates.

Wine pairing

This is great with a full-bodied dry white wine that was made with (some) new oak, such as an oaked Chardonnay, oaked Verdicchio, or white Rioja.


Salmon teriyaki with bok choy.


14 thoughts on “Risotto with Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp and Parsnip

  1. Woah! That looks so delicious and I will try it 🙂 I feel that Gordon Ramsay would appreciate this recipe 😉

    BTW, if you have time, please visit my blog and if you like my posts, please follow my blog. I will #FollowforFollow 🙂


  2. Stefan, you are so naughty (that is a compliment, naturally) … adding all those savoury flavours and making a risotto ‘zing’. Re the shrimp ‘bisque’ or whatever it’s called … someone told me a few years ago that it was the right thing to do to add loads of ice to the toasted carapace (the shrimp head and shells). So … heat them over a high heat for a few seconds basically, and then add the ice and switch heat off. Apparently this will draw out a lot of taste and then you can proceed after a few minutes as you did, adding water, onion, carrot, celery and anything else you’d care to contribute. I am not a professionally trained chef as you know, bello, and so am only passing this info along in case you might be drawn to experimenting with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A delightful recipe for those who love both risotto and parsnips as I do. A little more labour well worth a special meal . . . And I often make prawn stock like that to use instead of the usual beef or chicken. Now: you say this naturally is not an Italian dish ! But why should it be 🙂 ? I for one would absolutely love to see you showcase some of your favourite Dutch recipes for instance . . . or ones you have picked up in Spain or Germany . . . variety surely is the spice in life . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There aren’t that many Dutch recipes that I’m aware of, and those that are, are already on the blog. I also have some German and some more Spanish. I just didn’t want to ‘lead on’ anyone that this is a dish you would get in Italy because it does have an important Italian component (the risotto).


      1. *smile* My bad . . . having made and eaten risotto all my life made with various ingredients and with so many different sides, I guess I almost regard it as an ‘international’ food rather than exclusively Italian . . .

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This looks wonderful, I love the way you used the parsnip bark for contrasting texture against the creamy risotto. As luck would have it, I have a baggy of frozen seafood shells and such that would make an excellent stock for the risotto. I was saving it for a bouillabaisse but the risotto is calling my name.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reading your post on food safety. Awesome job. Came across this. You can kill 99.99997% at 120f/49c. I completely agree. MC vol 1 mentions that given enough time you can kill Salmonella at 120f but does not give a time. I would love to know your reference. Thank you.


    1. Hi, my reference is MC. You could extrapolate the time to kill enough salmonella at 120F/49C, but there are other pathogens than salmonella to take into account. So their times start at 52C/126F.


      1. Thanks. I have the books. I need to figure out how you extrapolated the time. Dang so very interesting. Thanks again. Great blog.


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