Mediterranean Calamari Risotto

Mediterranean Calamari Risotto

This easy and quick Mediterranean calamari risotto is perfect for today’s busy cook! Packed with traditional Mediterranean flavours like cherry tomatoes, black olives, fresh parsley, extra virgin olive oil, and of course fresh calamari. This unconventional seafood risotto is just as delicious as traditionally prepared risotto, except for the fact that it is quicker and relatively easier to prepare – all without compromising the delicious fresh  flavours reminiscent of the Mediterranean.

Living on a Mediterranean island means I am no stranger to calamari, let alone every other sea creature that resides in the ocean. I’ve had my fare share of calamari, in fact, I have eaten if for days at a time. It goes without saying that I love calamari! What is usually a fancy ingredient on Italian or Greek restaurant menus,  is actually quite attainable and easily prepared for the average at-home chef. If the sight or the idea of gutting a calamari scares you, but you love the flavour, simply ask your local fishmonger to clean it up and do the dirty work for you!

Quick and risotto really don’t go hand in hand when it comes to preparing an authentic dish. Opting for some quick tricks can help you spare some time in the kitchen, yet still ensure the final dish is just as flavourful and as the original. The easiest trick in the book? Using pre-cooked arborio rice. The second easiest trick? Prepare the calamari in a pan and create a flavourful, soupy broth that will get soaked up by all the rice once combined.

This easy, quick risotto may have few ingredients in it, but if you choose them wisely – fresh and local, the overall flavour is a palate-pleaser – sweet, tender calamari cooked in a light broth of sweet onion, tangy capers, tart cherry tomatoes, and bitter olives, and combined with starchy Italian rice that adds texture and creaminess. This recipe is a winner, and one your entire family will enjoy!

If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!

Mediterranean Calamari Risotto

2018-01-26
: Serves 4
: 10 min
: 20 min

This easy and quick Mediterranean calamari risotto is perfect for today’s busy cook! Packed with traditional Mediterranean flavours like cherry tomatoes, black olives, fresh parsley, extra virgin olive oil, and of course fresh calamari. This unconventional seafood risotto is just as delicious as traditionally prepared risotto, except for the fact that it is quicker and …

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Mediterranean Calamari Risotto
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5
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Ingredients
    2 tbs. butter
  • 3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced or halved*
  • 1/2 medium Vidalia onion, finely diced
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
  • 1 tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 tbs. capers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 tbs. Taggiasca olives
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 large calamari, cut into 1-2 inch strips
  • fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
Directions

Bring 5-6 water to a boil in large pot. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of sea salt to the water once boiling. Add 2 cups of arborio rice cook until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the cooking instructions on the package). Once cooked, drain and set aside.

In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil and butter for 1-2 minutes on medium heat until the butter is fully melted. Add the onions, season with a pinch of salt and then sauté for 5-7 minutes or until translucent. Add the capers and tomato paste and sauté for another minute.

Add the frozen peas (directly from the bag) and water, cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until the peas are fork tender. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the calamari and cherry tomatoes and cook (uncovered, stirring occasionally) for about 5 minutes or until the calamari is opaque and cooked through.

Add the cooked rice to the pan and stir to combine all the ingredients. Stir gently for 2-3 minutes until the rice has soaked up the excess liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste, fresh parsley, and a drizzle of fresh extra virgin olive oil.

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