Heralded as the comfort food of Italy (but way more elegant than America's mac and cheese, obviously), risotto is arguably one of the best things to happen to rice since the ingredient made its way to Europe via India in the 1400s. In this dish, Arborio rice is toasted in butter and spices and softened to form a silky porridge. We accent this smooth dish with plump shrimp, green peas, and plenty of nutty Parmesan. It's like having your comfort food while also maintaining the composure of a Milanese model.
Bring a medium pot with 3½ cups water to a simmer. Add vegetable base and whisk until incorporate. Remove pot from burner and reserve. While water heats, coarsely chop parsley. Peel and mince shallot. Rinse shrimp and pat dry.
Toast the Rice
Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil and half the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add shallot to hot pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add Arborio rice and cook, stirring, until rice is completely coated, 3-4 minutes. Add white wine and cook until reduced by half, 3-5 minutes.
Start the Risotto
Add one ladle of stock to rice, stirring continuously until stock is absorbed and rice is almost dry. Keep repeating process, adding stock and stirring, until rice is tender, but still firm, 20 minutes. You may not use all stock. Consistency should be creamy, but not runny.
Finish the Risotto
Gently stir in peas, parsley (reserving a pinch for garnish), remaining butter, and Parmesan cheese (reserving a pinch for garnish). Set aside warm until ready to serve.
Cook the Shrimp
Heat a medium non-stick pan and 2 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to hot pan and cook until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes per side. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Plate the Dish
Ladle risotto into a shallow bowl or plate. Top with shrimp. Garnish with remaining parsley, remaining Parmesan cheese, and a crack of fresh black pepper.