Langoustine Risotto (Risotto agli Scampi)
Risotto is one of my favorite comfort foods and this langoustine risotto is a bit of an upscale way to make it. If you’ve seen my QUAIL RISOTTO recipe then this recipe will also be familiar, substituting the quail stock for homemade langoustine stock. This is a great dish to impress people, and is fantastic for entertaining because you can make a large batch at once.
I decided to make this langoustine risotto, or risotto agli scampi in Italian, after making my recipes for GRILLED LANGOUSTINES (CIGALAS A LA PLANCHA) and PASTA ALL’AMALFITANA. Why? Because I never throw out the shells right away. At any given point I will usually have a bag of shellfish carcasses in my freezer (I mean, it’s better than a person right?). Once I have enough it’s really quite simple to make a delicious stock.
How To Make Langoustine Stock
To make the langoustine stock simply boil the langoustine shells in about 2 liters of water. That’s roughly 8 cups. I used about 20 langoustine carcasses, but you can get away with less. I also add a bunch of herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley, thyme, and an entire bulb of garlic sliced in half. You can also add salt at this point, but as I reduce the liquid by 25%, I actually add the salt once I strain everything. Bring to a simmer.
Once the liquid has reduced by 25%, which means there’s about 1.5 liters or 6 cups of stock, you can strain it. I use a fine mesh strainer so there aren’t even any herbs left in the final liquid. This amount of liquid is for 1 cup of rice, since I like to do a 6:1 ratio for langoustine risotto. Of course, if you are cooking for more people…just make more stock!
How To Make Perfect Langoustine Risotto Every Time
Despite what some people’s experiences with risotto are, it is not rice soup. You do use a lot of liquid, but the final product should spread, but not be soupy. The first step is choosing the right rice. You want something high starch and short grain. The most popular is Arborio, which I’ve used in this recipe.
Step one is sauteing the dry rice. Does this sound weird? It’s actually a very important step. In medium heat add about a tablespoon or two of olive oil and the cup of dry rice. Stir the pan around so the grains are coated in a bit of oil and start to get toasty. Here I add some very finely chopped shallots (2). Once the shallots become almost indistinguishable in the pan I add in 60 ml of Lillet Blanc. Wait, isn’t the next step to add white wine, you may ask. Traditionally yes, but as Lillet Blanc is just a fortified white wine, it works well here…and I love how the citrus notes play with the langoustine stock.
Once the wine is absorbed by the rice turn the heat up a bit higher. Risotto is time intensive, and constant. This means that unlike other rice dishes you cannot just ‘set it and forget it’. I add the stock 60 ml (1/4 cup) at a time stirring the pan constantly. Once the liquid is almost gone, add in another 60 ml. To go through all 1.5L or 6 cups takes about 20 minutes.
Once all the liquid has been absorbed it’s time to add the butter. As I don’t want the butter to chill the rice I add in the butter in pieces. In total you’ll need 100 grams of butter…just keep stirring it in until all the butter is used up.
Finally it’s cheese time. Now I know some people are against cheese and seafood, but shellfish is a different story. Trust me, it works here. Stir in half a cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano. There’s no gram weight here, you can add more or less if you prefer. Just note that the more cheese you add the less liquidy the final langoustine risotto will be.
And finally saute up a couple langoustines to put on top. Just quick fry them in a bit of olive oil for about 1 minute per side.
- 2 liter Water
- Langoustine Carcasses Just like a few handfuls of all the scraps that you can save after making Langoustine in different ways.
- 1 tbsp Oregano
- 1 tbsp Basil
- 1 tbsp Rosemary
- 1 tbsp Thyme
- 1 tbsp Parsley
- 1 bulb Garlic sliced in half
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup Rice Arborio, or other short starchy rice
- 1.5 liter Langoustine Stock
- 2 Shallots super fine chop
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 60 ml Lillet Blanc or dry white wine
- 100 grams Butter
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated (more or less to suit your desired consistency)
- 4 Langoustines
- In a pot add all the stock ingredients and bring to a simmer. Allow the liquid to reduce by 25% and then strain into a container through a fine mesh sieve. Add salt to taste (I used about 2 teaspoons)
- In a pan on medium heat add a bit of olive oil. Then add the rice and mix it up to coat the grains. Add the shallot and stir the pan around.
- Once the shallots become indistinguishable in the mixture add the Lillet Blanc (or white wine) and stir everything. Allow the rice to absorb the wine, then turn the heat up to medium-high.
- Add the langoustine stock 60ml (1/4 cup) at a time, stirring constantly. Once the liquid is absorbed, add some more. Keep going for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is used. Remove from heat.
- Add the butter in small pieces, stirring to incorporate. Then add in the cheese and mix everything up. Place a lid on your pan and let sit for 10 minutes.
- While the risotto is resting saute your langoustines in a bit of olive oil about 1 minute per side.
- Plate the langoustine risotto, and top with the grilled langoustines. Garnish with some pea and alfalfa sprouts and a grating of more cheese. Enjoy!