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Fish and Shellfish, Mains

Squid ink risotto

Squid ink risotto
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

If you've never cooked with squid ink, you've been missing out. It's kind of like finger painting crossed with cooking — it's a terrific natural food dye. Squid ink is most commonly used in making risotto (it dyes the rice ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, plus marinating time | Serves 4

Pickled chiles

  • 1 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 red Fresno chiles, sliced

Step 1In a saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chiles in a glass bowl. Keep the chiles suspended in the liquid for three hours to pickle.

Squid ink risotto

  • 6 to 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups Carnaroli or arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon squid ink
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomato (chopped)
  • 1 cup drained and shredded oil-packed tuna
  • 1/4 cup pickled chiles, diced
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup basil, thinly sliced

Step 1Place the vegetable broth in a small pot and bring to a gentle simmer on the stove.

Step 2Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. The last minute or so, stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic. Add the rice and cook, stirring to lightly coat, about 2 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the wine and cook until the wine is almost completely evaporated.

Step 3Add a ladleful of broth and cook, stirring constantly, until the broth is almost completely absorbed. Continue adding a ladle of broth as each is absorbed by the rice.

Step 4When the risotto is al dente, stir in the cream, squid ink, sun-dried tomatoes, tuna and pickled chiles. Cook, stirring until the flavors are married, then stir in the parmesan. Taste, and season if desired with salt. Serve the risotto in bowls, garnished with basil.

Note: Adapted from Crudo in Phoenix. Squid ink is available at select gourmet markets and cooking supply stores, as well as online.

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