There is nothing better than an Italian Seafood Sauce well prepared. It has so many uses – risotto, pasta etc. Today’s RISOTTO WITH SEAFOOD SAUCE is a great representation of the Italian Seafood Sauce at its very best – prepared with fresh clams, shrimp, and crab.
Often you will see this sauce as “alla scoglio” which means of the rocks or in the style of the rocks. This refers to the use of seafood which lives in the rocks of the Mediterranean – clams, shrimp, crab, and sometimes mussels, crab, or lobster. This sauce preparation is found throughout the coastal areas of Italy – claimed by the North and the South.
As always – good ingredients wins the day with this sauce – fresh clams, crab, and shrimp and fresh herbs!
The sauce captures the essence of the sea in the “creatures” you choose to put into it. The aroma is distinctively Mediterranean. When you prepare it, you may even want to play the songs of the coastal fishermen in the background for extra ambience. You know the ones – “Santa Lucia”, “Torna a Surriento”, “Vieni Sul Mar”…
My father, Attilio, would often sing as he cooked. He sang the traditional songs of Italy and seemed to choose them according to what he prepared. I can still hear him..
“Vide’o mare quant’ e bello, spira tantu sentimento…”
ITALIAN SEAFOOD SAUCE
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 28 oz. Can San Marzano Tomatoes ( this is a type of tomato, not a brand – the very best)
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley Chopped
2 Tbsp. Fresh Chopped Basil
1 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano
1/4 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 Cup Clam juice
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine or Dry Vermouth
1 lb. Cleaned Shrimp, shells removed
2 Dozen Littleneck Clams, shells scrubbed
8 Oz. Lump Crabmeat (Lump or Jumbo Lump is best)
Cook the garlic in the oil a minute – do not burn!
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, clam juice and wine.
Cook at medium to medium high bubbling until much of the liquid cooks off – about 30 minutes.
Add shrimp and clams – cook about 10 minutes or a couple of minutes more until all shells have opened. Discard any clams that do not open.
RISOTTO FOR SEAFOOD SAUCE
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes approx.
2 1/2 Cups Arborio Rice
3 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Onion – chopped
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
6 Cups Liquid: 5 Cups chicken broth, 1 cup Clam Juice
Pinch of Saffron Threads
2 Tbsp. Butter
1/4 C. Parmigiano-Reggiano Grated
Fresh Basil for garnish
Warm your broth and clam juice and add the saffron threads to the liquid, crushing them with your fingers a little before adding.
Melt butter in oil, and add the onion and stir, cooking at medium high about 5 minutes.
Add rice to the pan. Stir the rice and coat well – cooking for about 5 minutes.
Now add the wine, stir and let it cook down.
Continuing at medium high heat, add about a cup of the warm broth and clam juice with the saffron to the pan and continue to stir. When most of the liquid is gone add another 1/2 cup and stir. Continue adding the liquid by the same amount until you use all of it, slowly stirring as you add. Once the liquid is gone and cooks into the rice, it should be done.
Turn off the heat and stir in the butter and then the cheese. The risotto is ready and should be a beautiful golden color from the saffron threads.
TO SERVE: Spoon some of the hot sauce over each bowl of risotto along with some clams and shrimp. Top with some of the Lump Crab and fresh basil.
There is no better pairing with RISOTTO WITH SEAFOOD SAUCE than a crisp Terradora di Paolo Falanghina from Campania – an Italian white wine that was just made for seafood! “Vieni sul mar…”
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography