Monday, April 7, 2014

Risotto with Calamari


Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was really good and quite relaxing.
Yesterday was a perfect day for the beach: not too hot, not too windy, completely sunny and with an amazing blue sky. Well, in Los Angeles most days of the year are perfect days for the beach. This is one of the reasons I really consider myself lucky to live here. As you may know, I truly love the beach! Maybe because of the relaxing and soothing effect of the ocean. Or maybe because I've got used to live not far from water, growing up in Venice. And I mean the Venice in Italy, not in California :)
The ocean was my inspiration for today's dinner: risotto with calamari.
I've already posted a risotto recipe, so hopefully if you tried that recipe, you already know it is quite easy to make. If not, you have one more chance to find out tonight.
In today's risotto we will add calamari, which is one of my favorite seafood: always available at the grocery store, relatively inexpensive, really tasty and quite versatile. I often have calamari in my freezer. Check in the freezer section of your grocery store for resealable packages - very useful to have for last-minute dinners. Also note, it doesn't take very long to defrost.
In about 30 minutes you will prepare an amazing dish, I'm sure as good as you would eat at your favorite Italian restaurant.

Ingredients, serving 4 people:


  • 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 lb of cleaned calamari, tubes and tentacles
  • 1/3 cup of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups of stock (fish or vegetable) or water if you don't have any
  • fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • salt
Cooking time: about 35 minutes

Directions:

Step 1: Saute' the chopped onion and the garlic with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for about 4 minutes, or until the onion is nicely translucent.

Step 2: Add the calamari to the sauce pan, cut in small pieces. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Season with salt.

Step 3: Stir in one tablespoon of minced parsley, the crushed tomatoes and the white wine.  In  a separate pot, heat the stock or water.

Step 4: After a couple of minutes, add the rice and one cup of stock. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly and adding water or stock when necessary. When the risotto is almost cooked don't add to much water or stock. You need to end with a risotto which is not too runny and not too dry. Salt to taste.

Step 5: When the rice is cooked al dente, add one tablespoon of butter and the rest of the parsley. Stir well, cover the pan and remove from heat. Let sit for 3-4 minutes. This will make your risotto rich, creamy and delicious. Serve immediately!

Buon Appetito!
 

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