Fish Risotto with Squid
Risotto is about rice sautéed until it is soft and cooked.
As the rice is cooking, wine (optional) and broth are added a little at a time until the cooking rice absorbs it,
and more broth is added. The characteristic of this way of cooking is its smooth and starchy consistency that
attaches to the rice grain making the risotto a creamy and velvety dish, smooth and delicious.
In this preparation the calamari in sauce, or the black sauce is cooked in advance and added at the last
Besides using fish, risotto is made with different ingredients including chicken, beef, pork, vegetables and
spices, like the famous Risotto Milanese, made with saffron and bone marrow.
The broth is usually made with a few vegetables and herbs: it can be very delicate or robust and subtle, depending
on your preferences. There are no set rules in the preparation of the broth, on the contrary, your taste, your
imagination and mainly what is available in your refrigerator or your pantry, will dictate the type of vegetables
to be used. Parsley, bay leaves and onions or scallions, should be utilized to give this dish its characteristic
aroma. You may add any vegetables you choose like celery, carrots or chopped fennel fronds and include any of your
preferred herbs or spices.
Plain vegetable broth is used making risotto, however when preparing fish risotto, if possible make a fish broth by
adding to it heads or bones of fresh black sea bass, flounder, grouper, haddock, halibut, Pollack, ocean perch, red
snapper, scrod, tile fish or any other fish available, but never fish of the blue family.
In this preparation the calamari in sauce or the black sauce is cooked in advance and added at the last
Carnaroli and Vialone Nano rice are the preferred starchy Italian rice; Arborio is also used.
THE FISH BROTH
4 tablespoons of olive oil
½ medium sliced onion
Some fish heads and bones rinsed
About 1 cup of vegetables, washed and diced, celery, carrots, or any other greens
1 bay leaf
Some Italian parsley
8 cups water
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a 6-quart sauce pot. Add onions and sauté over medium-high heat until softened, about 3
minutes. Add optional fish heads and bones and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables, bay leaf,
parsley, salt, pepper, and the water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain broth through a fine
sieve and return it to the pot; set aside. When cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for
up to 1 month.
Bring to a boil 4 cups of the broth; subsequently simmer it at a low heat.
Heat the oil in a 5½ -quart sauté pan. Add onions and sauté over medium-high heat until softened, about 3
minutes. Add rice and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the rice becomes translucent, stirring continuously.
Add wine and once it is absorbed add a ladle of the simmering broth, stirring continuously. Add more broth, a
little at a time until the cooking rice absorbs it, before more broth is added.
15 minutes after the rice is added to the pot, stir in half the parsley, any spice, the squid in tomato sauce
and/or the black squid sauce, or add raw peeled /deveined shrimps and taste for salt and pepper.
Above seafood can be substituted with cooked clams, mussels or with other boneless fish or your preferred precooked
Keep stirring and after 5 minutes check risotto for doneness: the risotto should be al dente. If it is cooked to
the consistency that you like, let the rice absorb any remaining liquid and serve.
If you prefer the risotto softer, keep adding more broth and cook until it absorbs it: taste it often, do not
overcook, and make sure all liquids are absorbed.
Transfer the risotto into a serving dish and garnish with remaining parsley.