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CIAO BELLA SCALLOP AND MUSHROOM RISOTTO

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound sea scallops (ask for dry-packed and remove the small muscle from the side of each scallop)

1 tablespoon Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend

3 tablespoons butter

1 large sweet onion, chopped

6 large garlic cloves chopped

10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 ½ cups Arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

4 cups warm chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup heavy cream

¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

⅓ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat until very hot, but not smoking.  Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and toss in the Ciao Bella seasoning to coat.  Add the scallops to the hot pan and cook about 1 minute per side until seared and golden brown. They do not need to be cooked through (do NOT overcook).  Remove to plate and set aside.

Add the butter to the pan drippings and cook the onions and garlic until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes more until mushrooms have released their juices and begin to lightly brown.  Add the rice to the pan and cook for 3-4 more minutes, stirring frequently until the rice is coated and toasty.

At this point, stirring almost constantly is required to create a creamy delicious risotto.  Add the wine to the pan and stir until it is almost completely absorbed, and the bottom of the pan shows no liquid when you pull the rice to the side.  Gradually add the chicken stock in ½ cup increments, stirring constantly, waiting to add more stock until the liquid is almost fully absorbed by the rice.  Continue adding the stock until the rice is plump and tender (but with some ‘tooth’) when you taste it.

Add the salt, pepper, and heavy cream to the pan.  Stir to combine and let the cream absorb, about 1 minute.  Add the scallops (and any juices that have accumulated) back into the pan along with the parmesan, peas, and parsley.  Stir to fully combine and coat, about 1-2 minutes.

Serve hot garnished with parsley and with more parmesan for sprinkling on the side and a big glass of wine!

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