This Shortcut Crab Risotto Is a Summer Recipe Worthy of Sophia Loren

“IS it heaven? It’s heaven, isn’t it? It’s heaven.” This is the message I received from a close friend after he observed that I was traveling along the Amalfi Coast in Italy in the last few days.

If you’re not among the many people expected to travel to Italy in the summer months, then this dish will make you feel like you’re there. I’d never thought to cook a risotto during the summer months; however, Amalfi eateries Lo Scoglio and La Tonnarella made me realize what a fantastic option it is for a casual outdoor lunch or dinner. Imagine arriving by boat, saline and sun-kissed after a day of swimming.

Each food item was prepared and delicious when I was in the area. The produce was locally grown, and the fish was being brought into. The tomatoes hung from pergolas and windows, taking in the sun and mixing sweets into everything. The lemons are huge and savorily used. Basil is abundant and sprang from small pots on the table, which meant you could pick leaves as you please.

I had risotto and various seafood types while in the area, but I am a huge fan of crab and am making it the center of my dinner. It’s okay to avoid cracking the shells by yourself and instead spend on a lump of crab, which allows the dish to take just more than a half hour. For example, if you’re going to a summer home or a vacation rental and arrive late on a Friday night, this might be a great dinner to kick off the weekend or as part of a larger meal on a Saturday night if guests are visiting. The few ingredients–arborio rice stock, scallions garlic, crème fraiche sugar snap peas, fresh herbs, and a hefty portion of Parmigiano cheese–can be tucked away in an incredibly compact cooler for travel.

When you’ve cooked the risotto, and the broth slowly absorbs the liquid in the liquid cup by cup, you can nibble on the delicious crab meat, snap peas crisp, and salty Parmigiano. Chef’s reward.

Set up white, crisp tablecloths on your outdoor table to ensure it’s fresh. Decorate it with large bowls of lemons, the potted basil mentioned earlier, colorful ceramic plates, stemmed wine glasses, and sculptural containers. The dog-eared book backs, sunglasses, fans that have been folded, and hair that is air-dried or wet will be welcomed.

Here’s how I’m planning to transform this risotto into a dinner party. It will start the evening with perfectly perfect ripe cherry tomatoes and the ice, along with serving a bowl of Castelvetrano olives and a Spritz of Cappelletti that everyone will be holding. After the aperitivo, I’ll take the risotto out to the table in the pan to warm it up, serving it up with an easy salad of arugula and slices of freshly grilled bread that has been with olive oil that is generously coated. The extra crunch and something to smear the dishes will be the thing.

I’ll have sparkling bottles of Italian sparkling and still water at the tables to drink to drink. Bottles of wine will be cooled in ice buckets. Here are three drink-friendly Amalfi coastal whites I enjoyed on my trip – all readily available across the U.S.–that will suit this dish to an extent The 2022 Quintodecimo Giallo d’Arles Greco Di Tufo and The 2021 La Sibilla Cruna de Lago and the Luigi Maffini 2020 Kratos Fiano Paestum. The wine can be decanted into carafes, and adding slices of firm peaches is an option, and having extra ice cubes to dip into is essential.

For dessert, you can enjoy slices of melon on ice. Then, your friend — you are sure of it–will want to dance. Make sure you turn the volume up and blast the Italian pop songs you’d love to know what the words are. Then, finish the night and your guests off by sipping a glass or two of Amaro or Limoncello.

Crab and Snap Pea Creamy Risotto

Crispy, sweet snap peas, fresh herbs, lemon, and help highlight this dish’s main ingredient, which is delicious crab. The continuous stirring that the rice dish requires could be a barrier to entry for some cooks. However, consider it as a 20-minute treat for you to enjoy. Take a break, drink an ice-cold glass of white wine, and think about what you would like to do.


  • 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • Three tablespoons extra-virgin olive oils
  • Two tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Two shallots Finely chopped
  • Three cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine that is dry and unpasteurized
  • 1/2 pounds lump crab meat taken out for shells
  • Half a pound of snap peas cut into three slices along the diagonal
  • 1 cup of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano Plus more for serving
  • Three tablespoons of creme fraiche
  • One teaspoon of lemon zest
  • Two tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped finely chives
  • 1 cup chopped finely Dill
  • One teaspoon of kosher salt
  • Freshly crushed black pepper


  1. In a pot, cook the stock until it reaches the simmering point. Remove from the heat.
  2. Melt butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Sauté shallots until soft and translucent for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and rice, and cook until rice is thoroughly coated about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add wine, and cook until reduced to half. Pour in a ladleful of warm stock, and cook, stirring, until the liquid is completely absorbent. Add another ladleful of stock, and cook for another 5 minutes until the store is entirely in the risotto, it is soft and creamy, and the rice is cooked but not soft, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add crab and fold it in to heat through. Add snap peas, Parmigiano cheese, crème fraiche, lemon juice, zest, chives, and most of the salt and pepper. Stir to mix. If necessary, add more water or stock to loosen the risotto.


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