Risotto is a traditional Italian rice dish characterized by a soft and creamy mound of Carnarolli or Vialone Nano rice, scented with wine and cheese and crammed with butter. Its texture should not be stiff nor gluey but rather rich and creamy.
2 ½ cups of fish or vegetable stock
1 cup of olive oil
3 tbsp. of unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced, about 1/2 cup
1 1/3 cups of Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
1/2 cup of dry white wine
8 small clams, eg. Manila
8 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
4 oz. squid, cleaned and cut into thin rings
4 medium sea scallops
1/2 cup of peeled, crushed and seeded plum tomatoes
1/2 cup of loosely packed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp. of chopped garlic
1 tbsp. of brandy
1 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Warm the fish or vegetable stock in a small pan. Keep warm.
- In a large saucepan over low to moderate heat, warm the olive oil. Toss in 1 tablespoon of the butter and the onion, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and colorless or for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and toast lightly for 1 minute without letting the rice or onion take on any color.
- Pour the wine and cook until almost completely absorbed. Add most of the stock which should come about 1/2 inch above the rice. Bring to a simmer. Continue cooking the risotto while stirring occasionally, until some of the liquid is absorbed by the rice or for about 8 minutes.
- Toss in the mussels, clams, scallops, squid, and tomatoes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the seafood is cooked and the rice is al dente for about 6 minutes more. As the rice continues to absorb the liquid, add more as needed.
- Finally, remove the risotto from the heat. Add the parsley, garlic, brandy, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir well so the risotto becomes creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
Cooking risotto is not difficult at all, so don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients above. To cook the best risotto, you need to be watchful. Concentrate on your cooking and do not do other things. Risotto is about stirring, stirring, and stirring all the time. When rice is stirred more often, the creamier your risotto will be.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes