Subscribe via RSS

How to choose, clean and cook shrimp – Italian Cuisine

Also called imperial prawns, le shrimp they are part of the large family of these crustaceans. Appetizing and delicate, they can be eaten after a quick cooking. Moreover, thanks to their low caloric intake, they are also suitable for low-calorie diets. Here are all the secrets to learn how to choose, clean and cook shrimp.

Shrimp, shrimp and shrimp: differences

The vulgar name crayfish identifies various species of aquatic crustaceans belonging mainly to the order of the Decapoda. This term indicates both marine and freshwater species. The body of the shrimp is elongated and has 3 parts: the head, the Chest and theabdomen. The head is equipped with an antenna, two jaws and a jaw. They have a mainly nocturnal life and hunt with the help of the frontal claws. They identify the prey thanks to the vibrations they perceive with the antennas.

Let's start by saying that le shrimp they are part of the shrimp family, but they are different from the latter. THE shrimps they are small-sized crustaceans, which reach sizes between 7 and 10 centimeters. While from 15 centimeters upwards we talk about shrimp. There is the Italian fresh water one, used in the kitchen since ancient Rome. Widespread in Veneto and Lombardy, it is very easy to find today. It grows very slowly and can not survive above 24 ° C.

What makes shrimp different? Also nicknamed imperial is Spannocchia, le shrimp first of all they have a particular gray color, crossed by darker bands with yellow-violet streaks. Furthermore, they have long, threadlike antennas. The tail is bluish due to the presence of feces, a characteristic visible above all in the fresh specimens. From cooked, the shrimp takes on a nice pink-orange color. It can even measure 20 centimeters long, but on average its dimensions stop at 12-15 centimeters. It can get to weigh too 100 grams. The shrimp live on the seabed of sand and mud near the coast, all over the Mediterranean. This crustacean is caught at night, with the trawling technique. Only in Italy every year they catch it between 500 and 800 tons a year. The areas with the highest density of fishing are Emilia Romagna and Marche.

Fresh and frozen: how to choose

To choose the best ones fresh shrimp the first rule is to rely on smell. Shrimps should not emanate herbs unpleasant. The second rule is the compactness: they must be firm to the touch and not soggy. Another factor that you must take into consideration is the color: if the head is particularly dark it does not mean that it is a fresh product; on the contrary, the risk is that they contain high quantities of sulphites, used in the treatment of these animals in the farm. Furthermore the head shrimp must have antennas and must be attached to the body. Avoid crustaceans that are missing eyes: if fresh, the shrimp's eyes are shiny and take up most of the head. Finally check that the armor be glossy, firm and without black spots. This element will help you to understand if it is a product no longer cool, but rinsed and frozen immediately after fishing.

Shrimp are also sold frozen, sometimes already deprived of the head. They are cheaper and easier to cook. Before being cooked, however, they should be defrosted at room temperature.

How to clean raw shrimp

For clean the shrimp pass some water on the abdomen to remove any residues of algae or mud. Remove the tail, where the crustacean stools reside. Counting the third ring on the back from the tail, insert a toothpick into the body to extract the black bud.

How to shell the cooked shrimp

There shelling it is quite easy, especially if you proceed with the operation after cooking. To shell the prawns without breaking them, first of all remove the head and the legs. Then gently open the rings that form the shell, uncover the tail and pull it out. To easily remove the black intestinal fillet helped with tweezers or the tip of a knife.

Cook the shrimp in the pan

A recipe really tasty to try, easy and quick to prepare, are the shrimp sauteed with rice. In this case you will need to use a pan, two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to heat over a low heat for two minutes. Season with a clove of garlic and take it off before adding the shrimp, which will cook for about ten minutes, so as to let produce the sumptuous sauce. To complete the whole, a sprig of chopped parsley, chili and a pinch of salt.

With the shrimp you can also prepare some skewers to be cooked in a pan.

Cook the prawns in the oven

Cook the prawns in the oven it is an alternative way that will limit the dispersion of odors in the home. The result is tasty, especially you will choose to prepare the shrimp au gratin.

After cleaning a dozen shrimp, detaching the tail, the legs, the shell and the black filament, cut the back with a small knife. Place the crustaceans clean and flavor them with a citronnette sauce, prepared with a sprig of chopped parsley, chives, lemon juice and salt. At this point, cover the shrimp with a sheet of parchment paper to keep the humidity inside and keep them tender. It will take 10 minutes in the oven to 200 ° C. Then pull them out and sprinkle with bread crumbs: bake again for a minute with the grill to create the gratin.

Cooking in the oven is also perfect for making it shrimp strudel, endive and radicchio.

Grill the shrimp

Grill the shrimp It is the simplest and tastiest way to enrich the incredible taste of this crustacean with a touch of smoke. Prepared in this way, the shrimp become a perfect dish to serve as well as starter that how second.

After having cleaned and dried them with absorbent paper, place them on the hot grill and let them cook for a few minutes. Salale and condiscile with an emulsion prepared with extra virgin olive oil, black pepper, lemon juice and chopped parsley.

Recipes with raw shrimp

Between recipes to be made with fresh or frozen raw shrimp, you can try one tartare of tails of prawns with Tropea onion. It is a simple recipe in which you will prepare a mixture of prawn tails, Tropea onion, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and parsley. Stirring everything, put the mixture in a brothel. To add a crunchy note to the dish, add some cous cous or crumbled taralli heated in a pan.

Recipes with prawns for pasta

The shrimp, like all the shellfish, lend themselves superbly to prepare sumptuous sea food in which to season the excellent pasta (fresh and dried). For example you can prepare some spaghetti alla carbonara with prawns and rocket or of the clouds with shrimp pesto and citrus fruits, of the bigoli with bean sauce and prawns.

You can also combine these crustaceans with some fresh stuffed pasta and make them tasty ravioli with prawns in leek and citrus sauce.



How to cook perch – Italian Cuisine

Here are 10 recipes to make excellent dishes with perch. Our advice? Use the Italian one

After a period of oblivion, the perch returns to Italian tables. Many restaurants propose it again, but even preparing it at home could be a good idea to bring different dishes to the table and rediscover traditional flavors.

Linguine with perch and beard of friar.
Linguine with perch and beard of friar.

Varieties and differences of perch

Obviously, for our recipes we recommend using the Italian one, which usually comes from qfour main lakes in northern Italy and some smaller areas. Or you can buy that too import, like the perch of Lake Balaton or that of Lake Victoria, in Egypt. But the different quality between the local and the other will not go unnoticed to your palate.

In the gallery our recipes with perch

How to cook the perfect risotto – Italian Cuisine

Choice of product, correct use of cooking utensils and attention in the various stages of cooking: all the tips for a first course without flaws

With the rice you can give vent to your culinary imagination, including all the ingredients in risotto, from fish to vegetables. To obtain a result that meets expectations, however, it is necessary to observe some precautions in all phases of preparation, from the choice of the product to the cooking. Here then how to cook the perfect risotto, in a few simple steps.

Which rice to use for risotto?

The creaminess of the risotto is based onstarchTherefore, a rice is needed that contains and releases the right quantity. There are some more suitable varieties of rice Arborio, Baldo, Carnaroli, Maratelli, Rosa Marchetti is Vialone nano.

The right pot

The right pot for a good risotto should be of copper, but they are fine also of steel or aluminum, as long as they spread the heat evenly. The pan must be large enough, with medium-high walls, so that rice and broth can form a three-to-four-finger layer.

Soffritto and toasting

Among the rules that explain how to cook risotto, what concerns the fried it is among the most debated. In fact, anyone who raises dry rice can add it only later. On the other hand, those who start from the sauté must finely chop onion, shallot or leek to obtain a firing and a uniform consistency. If you want to use the sauté from the beginning, do it wilt gently, adding broth little by little to cook the onion: it is important to make sure that the base is dry when toasting the rice. Toastinginstead, it is the passage that makes the difference between risotto and boiled rice, as it allows you to "seal" the grain and make it release the right amount of starch. You can toast the rice without fat, or other condiments or use oil or butter: the important thing is carefully heat the beans before fading and cooking.

How to cook risotto: the importance of broth

To obtain a perfect risotto, you must cook the rice gradually adding some liquid, as it evaporates or is absorbed. This is because it is essential that in cooking i beans are always covered with broth, in order to free the starches and not to break. There are two mistakes to avoid: use a poor stock or worse still water (the taste of rice will be affected) or add cold broth, continuously blocking the cooking. You must have a lot of patience and often mix the risotto, being careful to bring back all the grains that stick to the walls of the pot. Flame regulation is also important: the risotto must boil vigorously, but not burn.


For the creamy risotto you should use the very cold butter, to glue the fat part and not the liquid part. Keep away from the fire, along with a generous dose of Parmesan cheese. Then you have to cover the pan and let the dish rest for a couple of minutes, the right time to sprinkle all the typical creaminess of the risotto.

How to eat risotto

After learning how to cook the risotto you just have to find out how to eat it. Risotto is one of those dishes that must be tasted strictly hot, just made. The risk is in fact to make it overcooked and dry: a real pity after all this effort.