Monday, April 7, 2014

Risotto with Calamari

Bring a taste of summer and deep-sea aroma to your dinner table with this scrumptious and rich risotto with calamari

Italian risotto makes the perfect one-dish entrée that is fancy and elegant enough for a special occasion but also easy and quick enough to make any weeknight dinner special. 

For today's risotto, I used calamari, a versatile, flavorful, easy-to-find, and relatively inexpensive seafood choice. 

I often have calamari in my freezer, very useful to have for last-minute fancy-looking dinners. And note, it doesn't very long to defrost! 

Preparing a calamari risotto is not much harder than cooking other rice dishes. With the right ingredients, some care, and a little bit of stirring, you will easily master this method that can be then used in many other risotto dishes.

First of all, to make the perfect risotto, you will need to buy the right variety of rice. I like to use Carnaroli rice (like in this recipe) or Arborio, an Italian short-grain rice with high starch content, which absorbs more liquid making the risotto creamier and more delicious.

Secondly, cook the rice while adding the liquid of choice gradually while stirring consistently. The rice absorbs it and turns into a mouthwatering creamy rice dish. 
Lastly, you need to "mantecare" the risotto: let the risotto rest in the covered an after cooking it al dente, with a little butter to add a not of creaminess to the risotto.  
Ready to try it too?!? 

Buon appetito!

Risotto with Calamari

Risotto with Calamari

Manuela Mazzocco
Prep time
10 Min
Cook time
20 Min
Total time
30 Min
Bring a taste of summer and deep-sea aroma to your dinner table with this scrumptious and rich risotto with calamari


  • 1 lb (450 gr) calamari, tubes and tentacles
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine, divided
  • 1 peperoncino (dry hot peppers)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups (320 gr) Carnaroli (or Arborio) rice
  • about 4 cups vegetable broth (or water), warm
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a large pot, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and calamari cut in pieces. 
  2. Cook for 4 minutes while mixing. 
  3. Add the tomato paste and 1/4 cup of wine. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Set aside.
  4. On the same pan, add the remaining olive oil, peperoncino, and onion. Saute' for 2 minutes. 
  5. Add the rice and cook for 1 more minute, stirring continuously. Add the remaining wine and simmer for 2 more minutes. 
  6. Add about 1 cup of broth or water at a time, cook the rice while stirring often. Add more liquid when needed. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. After 10 minutes, add the calamari to the pan and cook until al dente. 
  8. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Add the butter, mix and cover for a couple of minutes. 
  9. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
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