Olive Garden's Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto

I've never made risotto before but has been always intrigued at how & what it tastes like. I finally found a perfect recipe online, Olive Garden's Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto.

Cooking this requires time, patience and arm power! The risotto gets thick and a bit harder to mix that I had to ask hubby's help to mix it for me every now and then.

I made this when we had our friends over for lunch. Rich, creamy, and yummy! There were four of us (plus 1 toddler) sharing this, but there were still a lot left (around 1/4 of my serving dish).

Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto
from Olive Garden

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 lb fresh asparagus spears, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ lbs large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  1. In a large pot or saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer and leave on low heat until needed.
  2. In a separate, large nonstick pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and cook for approximately three minutes. Once the onions are translucent, add the rice, stir to coat thoroughly and cook for one minute. Next, add the white wine and stir until completely absorbed.
  4. Slowly add ½ cup of broth to the risotto and stir until completely absorbed. Repeat this step until 4 cups of broth have been added.
  5. Continue to stir the risotto frequently to avoid sticking.
  6. While the risotto is cooking, add the asparagus and shrimp to the remaining broth and cook for approximately two minutes or until the shrimp are pink in color.
  7. When finished, remove the asparagus and shrimp from the broth and add them to the pot with risotto.
  8. Continue to add ½ cup of broth at a time until desired creaminess is reached.
  9. Once the broth is absorbed, add butter, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes and parsley to complete.


Chocolate Nutella Bread Pudding

I think I'm addicted to Nutella... all I can think of making are desserts with Nutella! And... here's another one: Chocolate Nutella Bread Pudding.

I've never made bread and butter pudding before, so this is my first time. A normal bread and butter pudding will have sliced stale bread soaked in cream, milk and eggs. To add flavor to that, some would any or all of the following: raisins or currants,  cinnamon & other spices, a bit of brandy (or any other alcohol), and of course the sugar. So where's the butter? You spread the butter on the bread before putting them in the pan, then pour the custard all over the bread.

A chocolate twist to the traditional bread and butter pudding would be Delia Smith's chocolate bread and butter pudding - the custard is mixed with melted chocolate, Nigella Lawson's chocolate chip bread pudding - chocolate chips were scattered all over the sliced bread, and Ainsley Harriott's Chocolate croissant bread and butter pudding - the custard is mixed with chocolate and hazelnut spread.

As you all know, hubby and I are chocolate lovers, so that's what I did and combined all of their recipes: I adapted Delia Smith's recipe by using her steps and technique in making her chocolate bread pudding; I adapted Nigella Lawson's recipe by adding chocolate chips to the bread pudding; I adapted Ainsley Harriott's recipe by using chocolate and hazelnut spread (a.k.a. Nutella).

Yes, I know... the vanilla's missing

For the Custard Mixture
  • 150 ml  whole milk
  • 150 ml  double cream
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 T sugar
  • 3-4 T Nutella
For the Pudding
  • 50-100 g chocolate chips
  • 4 slices of stale bread
  • 50 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 
To serve (optional)
  • icing sugar, for sprinkling
  • double cream, for drizzling
  1. For the custard, place the milk, cream, Nutella and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to a scalding point, then take off the heat.
  2. In a bowl mix the egg yolks and sugar together. Gradually add the cream mixture, whisking continuously.
  3. For the pudding, remove the sides of the bread. Cut each slice of bread into 4 triangles. Spread some butter on both sides of each bread. Grease an ovenproof dish with butter. Arrange the buttered bread in the dish. Sprinkle some chocolate chips over the bread, then pour over the custard mixture.
  4. Cover the dish with cling film and let it soak for an hour at room temperature. Put in the refrigerator and leave overnight (Delia Smith's suggestion is 24-48 hrs).
  5. Preheat oven to 170C. Remove the cling film from the dish and bake for 30 minutes or until set.
  6. Sprinkle some icing sugar over the bread pudding. Serve with a drizzle of double cream.

  • In Delia Smith's recipe, soak period should be 24-48 hours. I only soaked mine for 2-3 hours. :)
  • Before pouring the custard mixture, make sure it's cool enough so that the chocolate chips won't melt. Because that's what happened to me. You can see from the picture below that some of the chips are already melting and losing their form.
  • My pan is too deep and when I first covered it with cling film, the bread's floating above the custard. Plus some parts of the bread were not soaked in the custard (see photo above). So, in step 4, place something over the pudding before covering it with cling film so that the bread will not float and the custard mixture will be absorbed by the bread. In my case, I placed a plastic container.
  • I didn't sprinkle icing sugar over the bread pudding. Instead, I added a teaspoon or so of sugar in the double cream before drizzling it over my sliced bread pudding. 


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