Sometimes I get so caught up in trying new recipes, I forget about preparing some of our old favorites. And this dish is no exception. So the other day when I was planning what to fix for our good friends Tim and Susie, I decided to go through my first cookbook for inspiration. And there on page 109 was this recipe which I had all but forgotten.

I can’t remember where I got this recipe (it was over 20 years ago after all), but I sure as heck know I didn’t invent this amazing concoction. I think it may have been a cooking class I took at an Italian restaurant back before the dawn of cell phones (not really, because the first mobile cell phone call was made in 1973). But you catch my drift; it was a long time ago!

In short, this is absolute perfection in risotto. The gist of the sauce (garlic, anchovies, kalamata olives, capers, tomato sauce, and parsley) is almost pure Puttanesca (on this site BTW). I strongly believe that whoever the brainchild was who dreamt up this fabulous dish simply borrowed a basic puttanesca recipe, used Arborio rice instead of pasta, and added seafood. Brilliant!

So to whoever it was that came up with this fabulous combination of ingredients, I salute you. And to those of you who give this recipe a try, I salute you too. I promise you will not be sorry, unless of course you are allergic to shellfish. Then of course, all bets are off. But if you do try this dish, and like it, send me a reply. I love hearing from you all. (If you don’t like the risotto, keep it to yourselves. I’m getting kind of a fragile ego in my old age. Right!!!!)

  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 c. arborio rice
  • 2 c. simmering chicken stock
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • generous 2 tsp. anchovy paste
  • generous 2 T. chopped fresh basil
  • generous 2 T. minced fresh parsley
  • ¼ c. chopped kalamata olives
  • 25 capers, drained
  • generous 1 T. finely chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ lb. raw scallops
  • ½ lb. raw large shrimp or prawns, peeled and de-veined (I use shrimp that are 16-20 per pound)
  • ¾ c. dry white wine (I use Pinot Grigio)
  • ¼ c. tomato sauce

Melt the butter in a medium sized heavy pan. Add the rice and sauté for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add one large soup ladle of hot stock. Stir and when all of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, add another ladle of hot stock. Stir continuously. Continue adding stock until the rice is creamy but just al dente. Remove from heat and set aside. (You may have a little bit of the chicken stock left.)

After the rice is finished cooking, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the garlic, anchovy paste, basil, and parsley. Stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add the olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes, and lemon juice. Cook for 1 minute. Add the seafood and cook until just done, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine, tomato sauce, and cooked risotto. Adjust seasonings and cook until just warmed through. Serve immediately.

Hint: This is a recipe where it is almost mandatory to have all your sauce ingredients ready to go before you start cooking. The cooking process goes very quickly and there simply is not time between steps to be chopping and fetching.

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks