A variation on pasta puttanesca that I came up with one day when I had no pasta on hand and I really wanted this sauce…
Risotto alla PuttanescaPrint This
- 4 tbsp (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 shallot, ﬁnely diced
- 4 anchovies, roughly chopped, or 1 tbsp (15 mL) anchovy paste
- 2 to 4 tbsp (30 to 60 mL) capers, drained 12 black olives, pitted and halved
- 2 cups (500 mL) Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice 1 cup (250 mL) white wine
- 2 cups (500 mL) tomato purée
- 4 to 5 cups (1 to 1.25 L) water or vegetable stock, heated to a simmer
- Salt, QB
- Finely chopped fresh ﬂat-leaf parsley, QB
- Chili pepper ﬂakes, QB
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) pine nuts, toasted
In a risotto pan or a saucepan with a large bottom, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, anchovies or anchovy paste, capers, olives and chili pepper ﬂakes and cook gently until the shallots are slightly browned. At this point, add your rice, giving it a good stir. You want the rice to toast a bit and to absorb all the ﬂavors.
Throw in the wine and stir. It will be absorbed quickly. Now add the tomato purée. Again, stir it a bit and keep your eye on it. In a few minutes, the whole thing will get thick as the rice starts to absorb and take on that intense tomato ﬂavor.
Now you have to start adding your liquid. Most risottos call for a ﬂavorful stock. But when I came up with this dish, I didn’t have any on hand and decided to use water. The ingredients were so ﬂavorful that I ﬁgured they would be enough, and I was right! So at this stage, if you’re not using vegetable stock, that’s okay; you can feel conﬁdent using water. Lower the heat to medium and pour in the water a cup at a time, adding more when it’s absorbed. Add salt as needed. You’ll be doing this for the next 16 to 18 minutes, until the risotto is al dente, not too liquid nor too dry, and creates a bit of un’onda, or a wave, when you lightly shimmy the pan. You can also taste it to see if it’s as you like it.
Remove it from the heat and add the parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and half of the pine nuts. Use the rest of the pine nuts to garnish each serving.