Risotto is so comforting, yet elegant at the same time. It can be made with virtually any kind of stock or broth you have on hand, with whatever vegetables you like, and if desired, top it with anything from roasted seafood or meats to big shavings of Parmesan cheese.
The 3 Most Popular Types of Risotto Rice
Sometimes packages are just labeled “risotto rice,” which is an easy way to find the right kind. Otherwise, here are the three most popular kinds of rice for risotto (there are others, these are the TOP 3):
- Carnaroli: Called the “king” or “caviar” of risotto rice, chefs like to use this one for its great flavor and because each grain maintains its shape. It also produces the creamiest risotto and is more forgiving to cook with.
- Arborio: Arborio is not as starchy as Carnaroli, but it is the most widely available. This medium-grain rice can be easy to overcook or turn mushy, but with careful attention, can still make a great risotto.
- Vialone Nano: This shorter-grain rice is grown in the Veneto region of Italy and cannot be grown with chemicals. It has a high starch content, cooks up more quickly than Carnaroli, and yields very creamy risotto.
Seafood Risotto Ingredients:
2 lbs calamari with or without tentacles cut ¼ inch strips (thawed frozen is ready to use)
2 large warm water Lobster Tails, shelled and chopped
1 lb of baccala (cod fish cured in salt), soaked, lightly floured and fried in chunks
12 large sea scallops, cut in half
18 jumbo or 30 medium size shrimps (tails removed and deveined)
30 little neck clams
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
For the risotto:
1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp of unsalted butter
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of white wine
16 oz Carnaroli or Aborio rice (whatever is available in your market)
2 cups water
16 oz clam juice or chicken stock
Pinch of saffron (optional)
1/2 cup of heavy cream or half & half (optional)
1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice (optional)
- Combine 2 cups of water, saffron and clam juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to simmer. Keep warm over low heat.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until light golden and starting to caramelize about 4 minutes. Add the rice and sauté 2 minutes. Add wine; stir until liquid is absorbed, for about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of clam juice mixture to rice. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Continue adding clam juice mixture by 1/2 cup full until the rice is tender but still slightly firm in center and the mixture is creamy, simmering until liquid is absorbed before each addition. In the end add butter and heavy cream, stir nicely.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic sauté until light golden and add calamari, lobster, scallops, mussels, clams and shrimp. Sauté until shrimps and scallops are opaque in the center, for about 6 minutes.
- Mix seafood and rice. Cook 3 minutes longer. Remove risotto from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in lemon juice, chopped basil and parsley and crumble the flaky-fried Baccala over the top before serving. Buon appetito!
ENJOY your Seafood Risotto brought to you by and Tasty Farmer!