This is one of those recipes that is made with love over the stove top. But, if you are looking for something quick, this is not the dinner to make tonight. For this recipe, patience is truly a virtue. The gentle and slow cooking of this Easy Seafood Risotto is well worth the wait. I promise.
It's really not necessary to use a broth for this recipe. The seafood and tomato sauce will provide enough flavor. However, if you decide to use a bone broth or vegetable stock, ensure that it has a light flavor as you do not want the flavor of the broth to over power the seafood.
Risotto isn’t something that’s ready in 10 minutes. Patience is needed as the rice takes some time to cook to at least “al dente”. This Seafood Risotto took about one hour and thirty minutes to prepare from start to finish. You will also want to leave some time to allow the risotto to cool down before you wolf it down! Otherwise, you will burn your mouth.
As well, this Seafood Risotto Recipe is one of those dishes that taste better as it sits or tastes good as leftovers the next day or the day after that.
- tips and tricks to making the best seafood risotto
- the difference between risotto and boiled rice
- what kind of rice do i use to make the best seafood risotto?
- Selecting the Right Pot for Cooking your Risotto
- to wine or not to wine?
- cooking risotto perfectly
- how do i know when the risotto is ready?
- when to add the seafood
- Recipe Details
tips and tricks to making the best seafood risotto
the difference between risotto and boiled rice
So what’s the difference between Risotto and Boiled Rice? Well, boiled rice is just that, it’s boiled in water. Or sometimes, people boil rice in stock or other seasoning like Vegetta until it is cooked. When you boil rice, you usually use it as a side dish.
Risotto is more of a main dish. Usually, people add meat, seafood, mushrooms or vegetables to the rice and slow cook it over the stove. Liquid is added as the rice expands. For a liquid, you can use tomato sauce, stock, cheese, milk, water etc.
what kind of rice do i use to make the best seafood risotto?
To make the perfect risotto, you’ll need a rice with a high starch content. The higher the starch content, the creamier the rice will be. For the perfect risotto you will need either short grain rice or arborio rice. Do not, for the love of Pete, use long grain rice! I used this rice type and brand to make this Easy Seafood Risotto
Selecting the Right Pot for Cooking your Risotto
Remember that as the rice cooks, it will double in size. Therefore, you need to select a pot that can accommodate the rice once it’s fully cooked. Keep in mind that you will also be adding mushrooms or seafood, etc… I usually use a frypan that is large enough that will accommodate the expanded and cooked rice. I also ensure that I have a lid that I am able to place on the frypan to cook the rice properly.
Remember two things:
- You want to select a pan large enough so that the rice doesn’t boil over, and
- You want to have a lid for the pot/pan so that it doesn’t take you 3 hours to cook the risotto.
to wine or not to wine?
This isn’t a must, but a dry white wine added to the risotto and cooked off before you start adding the water brings a nice acidity to the dish. If you don’t want to use wine, you can substitute the wine for lemon juice or even apple cider vinegar. Add the wine or lemon juice to the rice in the pan and let it evaporate before adding the water or stock.
cooking risotto perfectly
Once the onions have softened somewhat, add the rice and stir. Let the rice cook and toast slightly for about a minute. Add the wine or lemon juice to the saucepan. Once the wine or lemon juice have evaporated add the tomato puree and mix to combine. Then add the tomato puree and bring to a boil and simmer.
Start adding sufficient liquid so that the rice can cook and expand. You don’t want to burn the rice. The mixture should look soupy to start, the rice will expand and then you will need to add more water/liquid as the rice continues to cook and expand. You would repeat this cycle until the rice is fully cooked. Do not leave the rice unattended.
how do i know when the risotto is ready?
You can expect it to take at least an hour until the Risotto is cooked perfectly. The Risotto shouldn’t be mushy or overcooked. It should be “al dente”. This means that it should be slightly hard, but not to break a tooth.
As you add liquid, taste the rice to determine how much longer the rice will need to cook. Add liquid, taste, repeat until the rice is cooked to your satisfaction.
when to add the seafood
Please don't add the seafood at the beginning of the cooking process. This is really not necessary and you will achieve cooked seafood that is either gummy or disappear into the rice.
Add the seafood just as the risotto reaches the "al dente" stage. Mostly cooked but a little hard. Stir the seafood into the rice and let it cook in the rice as it simmers on the stove top. Add water if needed, but don't over do it. It should take about 10 minutes for the seafood to be cooked completely.
For a little extra creaminess, add cheese to the pot at the end and stir. That’s it! Are you hungry yet? Scroll down to get the recipe details and enjoy!
Store leftovers in an airtight container for a maximum of three days. You can also freeze for later.
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- 1 small red onion
- 2 tbsp ghee or butter
- 4 to 6 cups water
- ½ cups dry white wine apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- ½ cups parmesan cheese
- 2 cups tomato puree
- 1 tbsp dried basil or 4 fresh leaves chopped
- 3 cups seafood shellfish preferred
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups arborio rice short grain rice
- In a large skillet, melt the ghee or butter and add the chopped onion. Cook onion until softened. Add rice and stir for about one minute. Add wine and allow the alcohol (not the liquid) to evaporate while you stir the rice and onion mixture.
- Add the tomato paste and stir everything in the pot to combine. Add the tomato puree and bring to boil. Add one cup of the water and bring to boil and let simmer.
- Add more liquid if needed - about ½ cup of water at a time to allow the rice to absorb the water, expand and cook. Cook the risotto covered, but with the lid slightly ajar. Just jam a spoon in the lid to allow the steam to escape. This allows the rice to absorb the flavor of the wine. Repeat until the rice is al dente.
- Add the seafood and continue to cook until the seafood is done. The rice should be done by the time the seafood cooks through.
- Before serving add about ½ cup of Parmesan cheese and the basil at the end and mix well.