I live by the sea. When the sun is up and you see that it is a Saturday or Sunday, throngs of people arrive to eat seafood in the rows of restaurants lined up by the beach and in the town. In some mornings, it's a treat to walk at the long port watching the fishermen unload their catch of the day, men with their fishing rods sitting on the other side of the water waiting patiently what their baits can get, people leisurely walking at the long stretch of the port or just sitting at the benches staring at the sea. This place is not bad after all.
We had been having meat and vegetables lately and true to my nature, my body was asking for a switch of diet. I needed to eat something lighter. I needed some seafood. Even if it's winter and our diets should be at the heaviest because we need to generate energy to keep warm, fish is still good to give balance to what we eat. And so this risotto comes to mind. All in in one sumptuous plate.
This is one risotto I love ordering in restaurants. If it is in the menu, it's impossible to read beyond it. If it's there, my order is set. Unless there is linguine all'astice (lobster) but that's another story and hopefully another blog post I will be writing soon.
With the mixture of seafood, I think the taste is imaginably outstanding. You get the full flavor of the sea in a rice dish. Mmmm.
Lately, I have been using Valione Nano Rice in all my rice dishes. I can't believe I never gave it a try before. I usually don't think and just grab a box of Arborio or Carnaroli when I need rice for risotto or rice salad. Now that I have discovered Valione Nano, I see that it is in fact considered the best rice for making risotto and arancini. It is not as common as Arborio, Carnaroli, Baldo or Roma but when you do see it, get a box and promise me you will try it because really, it makes a whole lot of difference to the risotto. Rice matters a lot in making the risotto. According to what I've gathered, the best candidates in order are Valione Nano, Carnaroli, Baldo, Roma then Arborio.
This recipe was adapted from Il Cucchiaio d'Argento.
Risotto ai Frutti di Mare (Seafood Risotto)
- 300 g. rice (I used Valione Nano.)
- 300 g. squid or cuttlefish (or mixed), chopped in big pieces
- 500 g. clams
- 300 g. shrimps, shelled & deveined
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup tomato puree' (passato di pomodoro)
- 250 ml. white wine
- 750 ml. - 1 liter fish broth
- extra virgin olive oil
- parsley, chopped finely
- Saute' onion and garlic in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil. When they change color, discard garlic to prevent burned taste.
- Add squid and let cook for about 5 minutes.
- Pour white wine and let it evaporate.
- Season with salt & pepper.
- Ladle a lit bit of water (about 1/4 cup) to give some liquid and add the tomato puree. Continue cooking for 10 minutes.
- Add rice. When it has absorbed the sauce, pour some fish broth little by little. Do this for 18 - 20 minutes. Do not add the broth all at once. Do it gradually.
- About 10 minutes before reaching the cooking time, add the clams & mussels. Mix carefully.
- When the shells have opened and the rice has cooked through, turn off fire.
- Serve on individual plates, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil & sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.