The Black Rice from Veneto & the Truffle Scented Oil had come all the way from Italy. Since then I have been trying to figure out the best way to use them, for this product is luxury for me. If possible I would save it & not use it at all, that way I would always have it:-).
Finally I decided to do a Risotto. Fava beans have been overflowing the bins in the local market, & it is only right that I use these to make a spring/summer time risotto. “Black risotto or risotto al nero di seppia made with cuttlefish cooked with their ink-sacs intact, is a speciality of the Veneto region. Risi e Bisi or “rice and peas” is a Veneto spring dish that is correctly served with a spoon not a fork; it is a soup so thick it seems like a risotto. It is made with green peas using the stock from the fresh young pods, flavored with Pancetta.” (Wiki)
I have used Shrimp here to be topped on the risotto. I could not resist the abundant bright tomatoes to make a roasted tomato sauce with it. I have to say with the aroma of the tomatoes, garlic & herbs roasting in the oven & the unusual colored risotto cooking – it was a quite memorable experience in the kitchen.
Black Rice Risotto with Mushrooms & Fava Beans with Roasted Tomato Sauce, topped with Garlic Shrimp With a Drizzle of Truffle Oil.
(Note that the use of shrimp here is optional. The Risotto will taste good even without it.. or you could add your own seafood or meat of your choice.)
Ingredients: (2 Small Servings)
For the Rice:
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Butter
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3/4 Cup Italian Black Rice (You can use any Risotto Rice)
- 1 Cup Mushroom, use any kind you want, sliced
- 3/4 Cup Shelled Fava beans (How to Shell & Prepare Fava Beans)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4-5 Cups Chicken or Vegetable broth
- 1/2 Cup White Wine
- A drizzle of truffle oil
- 3-4 Slices of thin Pancetta/Bacon ( I have used the soy bacon/morning star & I don’t think it added any extra flavor or taste to the rice, but real meat would do) – cut into small strips
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh finely chopped Rosemary (Use your favorite herb)
For Roasted Tomato Sauce (Salsa di Pomodoro):
- 5 -6 Roma tomatoes, quartered
- 6 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Crushed red pepper (more or less)
- Glug of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
For the Shrimp:
- Deveined Shrimp (as much as you want) – I used about 15 medium ones
- 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- Crushed Red Pepper (to your taste)
- 1.5 teaspoons of Olive oil.
- Any Fresh herb, if you want the herb ( I used Rosemary)
Preparing the Roasted Tomato Sauce:
Heat oven to 400 degree F.
In a large, oven proof dish, combine all the ingredients & stir to blend then transfer to the oven and cook until the tomatoes begin to caramelize, about 30 minutes. Remove the dish and stir well. Return to the oven and continue to cook until further caramelized and much of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 – 25 minutes longer.
Here is before & after of the tomatoes:
Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and transfer to a blender, in batches if necessary, and process sauce until sauce is chunky. If the sauce seems too thick, thin with a bit of water or chicken broth. Use immediately or cool completely and refrigerate for up to 3 days in a non-reactive, airtight container.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
Preparing the Shrimp:
Shell & Devein the Shrimp (if not already done), leave the tail on if you want.
Combine salt, red pepper, herbs & minced garlic with the shrimps & set aside to marinate for about 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in the pan & sear the shrimps a few minutes each sides. They should turn pink. Do not over cook.
Preparing the Rice:
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the pancetta/bacon & cook stirring often, about 3-5 minutes. Lower the heat and add the fava beans. Cook for a couple of minutes. Season with fresh ground pepper and salt. Set aside.
Add the olive oil in another pan. Add the garlic & heat the oil so the oil is infused with the flavor of the garlic. Fry for about 1 minutes at low heat. Make sure the garlic does not turn brown.
Add the butter to the pan. Add the onion and cook gently until soft. Stir in the black rice, Add salt & pepper and cook for 5 minutes tossing quickly so the rice gets slightly toasted.
(I had the stock simmering in a pot while I was cooking the risotto).
Add the wine, simmer while quickly stirring until all of the wine is absorbed, about 3-4 minutes. Add 1 cup hot stock & simmer until about absorbed, stirring often, about 3-5 minutes.
Continue to cook until rice is just al dente and mixture gets creamy, adding more stock by cupfuls, stirring often and allowing most stock to be absorbed before adding more, about 25 minutes. If the rice is still a little hard, add a little hot water and let it cook for some more time.
Spoon the Risotto in a flat dish. Spoon some tomato sauce around & over the risotto & keep the extra in a pretty bowl:-) Top with some shrimp & drizzle a spoon of truffle oil.
D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!! Love the combination of the texture of the rice, the mushrooms & my favorite fava beans. This is the first time I made risotto with a sauce & loved it! … Not to mention the Truffle infused oil which added to the elegance! I am not sure if this black rice is right for making a traditional risotto, for this is not the typical short grain risotto kind of rice, but we really liked the way it turned out.
Note: For those of you who have bacon, do use the real thing here, for the substitute had no contribution to the recipe. However I just wanted to try it out, as the other substitute products are pretty good.
Some facts about cooking Risotto:
“There are many different risotto recipes with different ingredients, but they are all based on rice of an appropriate variety cooked in a standard procedure.
The rice is first cooked briefly in butter or olive oil to coat each grain in a film of fat, this is called tostatura; white wine is added and has to be absorbed by the grains. When it has evaporated, the heat is raised to medium high and very hot stock is gradually added in small amounts while stirring gently, almost constantly: stirring loosens the starch molecules from the outside of the rice grains into the surrounding liquid, creating a smooth creamy-textured liquid. Tasting helps to indicate when the risotto is ready, a total time of about 17 minutes from when the wine evaporated. At that point it is taken off the heat for the mantecatura when diced cold butter and finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese are whipped in to make the texture as creamy and smooth as possible. It may be removed from the heat a few minutes earlier, and left to cook with its residual heat but this requires fine judgement as to how much liquid will be absorbed by the rice while it waits. The cheese is usually omitted if the risotto contains fish or other seafood.” (Wiki)