Risotto con Carciofi e Frutta di mare (Risotto with artichoke and various seafood)


 With fresh Artichokes showing up at many local markets, I found it appropriate to re post this recipe. I hope you enjoy it. 
 Many people find it so intimidating to make risotto at home.  Once you have mastered the technique,  it's easy to do.  I am sure you will be looking for an excuse to make risotto again.  I made lots of mistakes in the beginning.   You should never rush risotto and please don't keep your flame up high.  This is a slow process that can't be rushed.  You need to give the flavors time to combine and your rice time to cook and rest before taking it to the table.
As you all know, I live in an area where fresh fish in non existent.     This was a great excuse to use it up what I had saved in the freezer.    I had handful of some shrimp along with some squid frozen from a another recipe. I cooked my  baby artichokes before my New York trip and placed them with their liquid in the freezer. The artichokes and their liquid give this risotto a wonderful creaminess without any addition of butter.  The delicate flavors combined make this dish the star of the show~ Had a few Calamari left to fry.  Just couldn't resist decorating with a few.  Had a hard time keeping my husband away from the kitchen

Ingredients for 6 people
1pound of Arborio rice / imported from Italy
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/2  medium Spanish onion/ or white onion diced
1 cup of white wine
approx. 1 cup artichokes cooked.  (They will be soft and fallen apart from having  been previously cooked in water).
3 cups of artichoke liquid
1/2 pound of large shrimp tails/shells removed/ cut up in small pieces.
1/2 pound squid/cut up
1/4 cup frying oil (for the fried squid tentacles) 
Parsley for garnish

Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a pan large enough to accommodate the risotto.  When Your oil is hot add your onion and saute until fragrant.   At this point add your shrimp and squid and saute.   When your fish is opaque which should take just a few minutes,  remove it from the pan.  Do not worry that your onion might not remain in your pan.  The important part here is that your olive oil is now enormously flavored.  Set aside your fish to cool.    Add your drained artichokes to the pan.  Reserve your cooking liquid from your artichokes.  Saute for 2 minutes.  Add your rice and mix.  Add your white wine and reduce.  After a few minutes, you will notice that your rice is dryer and sticking to the pan slightly. Keep mixing in steady round motion.   Begin adding your liquid, a cup at a time, stirring contstantly.  The stirring will cause the starch from the rice to release and the rice will cook.  Continue adding your liquid. Use This  process with the remaining liquid for about 20 minutes total. Keep you heat low.  Taste your rice.  It should be cooked and firm at al dente, your liquid evaporated and you should notice a creamy texture to the risotto. It is not necessary to use up all your liquid.  Or you may even need a little extra liquid.  You may use some reserved chicken broth or even water. if necessary.   Let rest about 10-15 minutes. Set your rice aside and add your fish to the top, mix and serve with crispy calamari on top (not typically done for decoration, but does look pretty). ~Buon appetito!

Special Note:  Save some extra calamari cut up and  add to some flour.  Shake off excess.   Fry in vegetable oil to cover until golden.  You will here them begin to pop some while they are cooking.  Drain, salt, a squeeze of lemon and serve as appetizer or sprinkle some on top of your risotto for decoration. 


Candy said…
Yum! I can make a passable risotto, but still need to work on getting it to the just-right consistency.
Thank you. I am sure your risotto is fabulous. We are our own worse critics. Just keep trying, takes some practice. Must cook slowly under an even flame. Can not be rushed. Good luck. Buon appetito~Barbara

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