Turbante di Riso con Gamberi

Rice Ring Mould with Prawns


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

Fresh prawns are cooked in two ways and served with a rice ring and a creamy sauce that’s full of the flavour of these tasty shellfish. It’s the perfect dish for an impressive dinner-party main course. This recipe is from Campania, but it has a somewhat classic French style. This is typical of the recipes imported to the grand households of the area by the 19th-century French chefs who introduced their customs and traditions to the kitchens of the southern Italian aristocracy.


  • 2.25 kg/5 lb large raw prawns/shrimp, with shells
  • 1.5 litres/2 ½ pints/6 ¼ cups water
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 175 ml/6 fl oz/¾ cup dry white wine
  • 1.5 ml/¼ tsp sea salt, plus extra to taste
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 115 g/4 oz/½ cup unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp cognac
  • 150 g/5 oz/1 ¼ cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 5 ml/1 tsp paprika, plus extra to serve
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup single/light cream
  • 800 g/ lb/4 cups long grain rice, cooked in salted boiling water until just tender


  1. Set aside 30 prawns. Remove and reserve the shells from the others, then devein them (see Cook’s Tip). Rinse. Put the shells into a pan with the water, bouquet garni, 30 ml/2 tbsp wine and the salt. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Strain into a clean pan, return to a simmer, and put the shells to one side.

  2. Drop the prawns into the stock. Blanch for 1 minute, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Simmer the stock for 10 minutes, then strain it again through a fine sieve or strainer. Process all the cooked shells with a little of the stock, to a purée. Strain through muslin or cheesecloth and set aside. Keep the stock hot.
  3. Heat the olive oil and one-third of the butter in a large pan. Fry the onion and garlic for 10 minutes, gradually adding the remaining wine. Stir in half the parsley. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the 30 unshelled prawns. Fry over a high heat for 4 minutes, stirring. Transfer the prawns to a clean pan and place over a high heat. Pour over the cognac, ignite it, then immediately remove from the heat. Sprinkle the prawns with salt.

  4. Add half the remaining butter to the pan in which the unshelled prawns were cooked. Heat it until it foams, then add the flour. Whisk, then gradually add the stock, stirring. Simmer, stirring, until smooth and thick. Sieve the sauce and return it to a low heat. Stir in the prawn-shell cream, half the paprika, cream and remaining parsley. Pour half of this over the shelled prawns and stir over a low heat.

  5. Keep everything warm while you prepare the rice. Preheat the oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas 1. Lay a clean dish towel on a baking sheet. Spread the rice on top. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then transfer to a bowl. Stir in the remaining butter. Grease the mould. Transfer the rice to the mould and bake for 5 minutes.

  6. Turn out on to a serving dish. Put the prawns in the sauce in the middle. Arrange the unshelled prawns around the edges. Sprinkle with the remaining paprika. Serve with the rest of the sauce.