In every high quality restaurant that serves fish dishes in Italy, you will surely find this risotto. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to find a really good one. It’s not so unusual for chefs to use only single cream and tomato to make the cream and add some langoustine flavor using a broth made from the shells. If you want to taste a wonderful risotto, you can use even few langoustine, but you have to use them wisely.
There are few tricks to get a perfect dish, one is to buy really fresh or frozen langoustine. When you buy them fresh they have to be still alive and have a wonderful smell of sea, if the smell is too strong or is a little acid, then you better not buy them.
Frozen fish is basically more safe, everywhere in the world the fish is frozen few minutes after being caught, so you are sure you will get a really high quality product.
The secret to use even less langoustine is to make the broth with the heads and the pincers. You could also use a liquidizer to mix the broth with the heads (don’t mix in the pincers, they are too thick to be blended)
- 1kg langoustine ( you can also use half, the more you use the best it will taste)
- 380gr of riso carnaroli or arborio
- 200gr of tomato puree
- finely chopped parsley
- 1lt of water
- 1/2 glass of white wine
- salt. pepper and chili pepper to taste
- 2 garlic cloves
- 15gr of butter
- 2tbsp olive oil
Wash well the langoustines and cut the heads and the pincers.Set aside the bodies of the langoustines. Put the water in a pot and bring it to a boil (or you can use a kettle).
In a pot put the heads and pincers with 1tbsp of oil and a crushed garlic clove. As they starts to sizzle add half of the wine, and let it evaporate. Crush them with a fork to let the insides melt into the sauce.
Add the boiling water to the pot and let it cook for about 15 minutes. Add some salt and lower the heat, to keep it hot without shrinking. In the mean time shell the langoustines by cutting the shell in the middle with a pair of scissors. Get rid of the black string, chop the langoustine and put them on a plate.
Put the remaining oil in a large saucepan with the garlic and some chili pepper if you like it. Add the rice and let it toast for few minutes, always mixing. Add the remaining wine and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato puree and a couple of ladles of broth using a sieve. Mix well and let it cook.
As the rice absorbs the liquid, add some more broth (always using the sieve, to avoid some shells to fall into the risotto) and continue until the rice is cooked (it will takes about 15 to 18 minutes). Add the langoustines 5 minutes before the rice is completely cooked.
When the rice is cooked, turn off the heat, add the butter and mix vigorously.Cover with a lid and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with a pinch of parsley on top.