Black risotto with calamari, salmon and shrimps

june 14th 2013

Since I know my husband I realized I have this particular talent: I can always remember happenings of my life through the things I eat. Or better, I can always remember when, where and with who I have been eating a specific dish. For example, I remember very well the last – and first – time we had black rice. It was more or less 3-4 years ago. I bought it in Comacchio in 2009 during one of these typical “sagra” taking place usually during the summer in Italy. At the time I was there for a project I was working on along the adriatic sea, in Porto Garibaldi (I).
I remember clearly that first black risotto. We were having a break from “klussing” =restructuring our house :-), it was lunch time, the weather was nice and because of this we were sitting outside on our terrace. I also remember very well the expression of my mom and my husband, such as “good, but…”. Maybe is it because of this that unlike me he completely removed it? 🙂 Instead I did not disliked it, on the contrary, but for my feeling it missed that special “something”. So, the second package of Venere rice remained in the cupboard for a looong time.
Today I got the chance to use it. A good friend of mine came to visit me, one of these friends that you don’t see very often but when you see each other it’s “just like yesterday”. This was a good occasion to celebrate.
Well, this black risotto will remain very long in my memory, and all this thanks to my mom: her advices definitely improved the recipe. I don’t remember which type of fish we had the first time, but what we definitely missed is the stock as a base for the risotto. I am not sure we really cooked it to perfection but I can assure you the taste was really good. For a risotto like this one… it’s definitely not difficult to avoid eating sausage! 🙂


500 g Venere rice (in this case: Jolanda type)
1 small onion (finely chopped)
300 g calamari
1 salmon TRANCIO (ca. 300 g)
500 g shrimps with the shell
4 cloves of garlic
4-5 spring onions
10 spoon extra-virgin olive oil (better cold pressed)
parsley as needed
organic salt as needed




1.we started by cleaning the shrimps: we took out the head and then their legs and the tail
2.then the salmon: we took out the skin
3.we took out the central spine and we cut it in small pieces


4.subsequently we cut the calamari more or less of the same dimension
5.we did the same with the shrimps (actually we could have also avoided to do it, the shrimps in their natural shape are more decorative)
6.the left overs should not be thrown away, never! Especially in this case because you need them to make the stock to use for cooking the Venere rice

riso_venere_04 make it we cooked at low temperature 2 garlic cloves in olive oil (2 spoons) together with the green part of some spring onions (one onion cut in big pieces would also work)
8.after a couple of minutes we added the left overs from the fish
9.then we covered all with abundant water, we took it to the boil, we lowered the fire and let it cook for approximately 20 minutes


10.we drained the stock and added salt as necessary
11.then we fried the chopped onion very slowly in approximately 4 spoons of olive oil until it got a golden color
12.we added the Venere rice and we fried it for a couple of minutes


13.when the rice became shiny we added a small glass of vodka (ca. 50 ml) and let it evaporate
14.then we covered the rice with the stock and we kept on stirring regularly, repeating this operation for approximately one hour…!! the meantime we cooked the fish separately (because this has a much shorter cooking time), and we started by frying at medium fire 4 garlic cloves in 2 spoons of olive oil, again for a couple of minutes


16.then we added the calamari, after one minute the salmon and after two minutes the shrimps, that were actually pre-cooked; after another minute we turned off the fire and added the chopped parsley
17.when the rice was ready we mixed it with the fish (we kept some aside to place it on top as decoration)
18.and… buon appetito!


time 45 minutes preparation time, 1 hour cooking time

difficulty medium-low

the advice for women who had breastcancer or want to prevent it is to limit – if not eliminate as much as possible – animal proteins and especially animal fats with the exception of fish, which can be consumed occasionally. This advice is also valid for all the people interested in lowering the chance of getting sick from a degenerative illness through a healthy lifestyle.  Make physical exercise every day and reduce the stress are equally important recommendations.

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