Risotto Marinara

The original recipe for this risotto comes from Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson who runs the restaurant Aquavit with branches in New York and Tokyo. In its original form, it is a tomato and crab risotto which is served together with pan fried zander and shiitake and truffle sauce. I made the whole dish a few years ago and it was delicious. Tomato, crab, tarragon, coconut milk, zander, truffle and shiitake sounds like a huge crash of conflicting flavors, but they work remarkably well together. When I make it again I will make sure to post the recipe. Swedish readers can find the recipe in Allt Om Vin 1/2007, p. 84. The version I made tonight is very tweaked, but the basic idea is the same.

This risotto is a bit more labor intensive than others, but it's well worth the extra effort. The addition of whipped cream, egg yolks and cheese may seem unnecessary, but believe me, it's not. Taste the risotto before adding it - it will still taste nice, but after that final touch the risotto gets a much more rounded and sophisticated flavor. It goes from "good" to "oh yum". If you happen to have some black truffle sea salt in your kitchen, like we do after my trip to Gotland, it is delicious to sprinkle the risotto with a few grains.

Risotto Marinara

4 servings

3 tbsp cream
3 3/4 dl tomato juice
1 3/4 dl water
1 3/4 dl unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp concentrated vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot
1 garlic clove
1 tsp dried tarragon
2 dl arborio rice
3 tbsp dry white wine
2 egg yolks
3/4 tbsp mushroom soy
1 tbsp finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese
200 g mixed seafood (we used a mix with squid, octopus, blue mussels, clams, and shrimp)

Whip the cream into soft peaks. Cover and put it in the fridge.
Mix tomato juice, water, coconut milk and concentrated vegetable stock in a pot. Bring to a simmer, and then leave it on very low heat. It should be barely simmering.
Peel and finely chop the shallot and garlic.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, garlic and tarragon and sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft.
Add the rice and stir until all the grains are glazed with oil. Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated.
Stir in about one deciliter of the tomato liquid, stir, lower the heat and let it simmer slowly until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Then add an other deciliter of liquid, wait until it has absorbed and keep going until you have added all the liquid deciliter by deciliter. Stir occasionally. When it's done, he risotto is creamy and the rice slightly al dente. If you run out of liquid before the risotto is done, you can add some simmering water. Add the seafood mix together with the last tomato liquid. Let the risotto simmer slowly for about five minutes.
Get the whipped cream from the fridge and stir in egg yolks, soy and cheese. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the cream mixture.
Serve immediately.

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