There was this dish at work that I wanted to eat but I never got the chance to have the entire dish because my days off are the same days when the restaurant is closed. So I kind of recreated it at home. It doesn’t have the sea urchin on it because I can’t splurge on a tray of fresh sea urchin on myself… with company yes but I would feel so gluttonous if I ate the entire tray alone.
I have some grated cheese in my seafood risottos. I don’t understand the taboo about not putting cheese with seafood. It works for me and I think it helps to bind the rice together.
[Calamari from Connecticut, Cuttlefish Ink from Spain]
For the Tomato Concassé
- 2 onions, finely diced
- 5 plum tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- 3 thyme sprigs, picked without the thick stems
- Olive oil
Boil a pot of water that can fit the tomatoes. Core out tomatoes and make an “X” with a paring knife on the top of each tomato. Have a bowl of ice water on hand. Once water is boiling, cook tomatoes for 30 seconds and immediately place in ice water.
Once tomatoes are cooled, remove from ice water bath and peel skin off. Remove seeds and insides of tomato. Dice tomato into small cubes and set aside.
In a sauté pan and on low-medium heat, add enough olive oil to coat the pan. Sweat the onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme for 30 minutes. Season lightly with salt. Cool and set aside.
For the Calamari
- 1 lb calamari, tubes and tentacles
- Canola oil
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon juice
Clean/rinse the tubes and cut into thin strips. Save one third for garnishing and the rest for cooking within the risotto (below).
For the garnish, sauté/broil the calamari and season with salt, pepper, shichimi, and lemon juice. Keep warm and set aside.
For the Risotto
- 1½ quarts fish stock
- 1 onion, finely diced
- ¾ cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup white wine
- Reserved cut calamari strips and tentacles
- 1 TBS cuttlefish ink
- Olive oil
- Parmesan, for grating
- Parsley, finely chopped
The fish stock should be hot/simmering before adding into the cooking pan for the risotto.
In a pan on medium-low heat, heat the olive oil. Sweat the onions until translucent. Stir in the rice and make sure the oil fully coats the rice. Cook until the ends of the rice are transparent, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Then add in the wine and cook until completely absorbed and the alcohol has evaporated.
Add 1 cup of the hot stock and simmer, stirring frequently, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the bottom of the pan is almost dry. Adding ½ cup stock at a time, stir until almost all the liquid has been absorbed between each addition. Be careful not to let the bottom of the pan dry out. Continue to stir often, and repeat until the rice is almost al dente. Add in two-thirds of the tomato concassé into the rice. Then add in the reserved calamari and season lightly with salt. When the calamari is cooked, add in the ink and fully incorporate ink into rice.
Before rice is finished and taken off heat, grate in some parmesan cheese and taste/adjust for seasoning.
Scoop hot rice into bowl, garnish with sautéed/broiled calamari, remaining tomato concassé, and parsley.