Risotto with Orata, Leeks, Sundried Tomatoes and Saffron

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We all have those evenings when things don’t go as planned, my plans are generally around dinner and if I haven’t planned our meal a few days in advance, I will have planned it that morning while marketing. I bought 3 gorgeous orata the other day, with plans for making them that night alla Ligure. I had forgotten that my daughter had a Carnevale party at school that evening with focaccia and cake, and the fact that my husband had a deadline and would be working until the wee hours. After years in Rome eating dinner at 10 is not foreign to me, and lately I have been brought back to those late dinner hours. I don’t mind waiting for my husband, I enjoy eating with him, he is much better dinner company than my daughter, though my waistline is asking me to start enjoying my daughter’s company at the table a little more.


I went ahead and poached one of the orata, placing the other two in the fridge for the next day. I figured if she was in the mood after the party, it would be ready for her. I figured that if she ate some, she wouldn’t eat all of the fish and planned a lovely risotto around the scrapes. She didn’t even want to look at it and ask only for a yogurt and some fruit. We didn’t eat until 11:00 that evening, painful, but with that extra time on my hands after putting my daughter to bed, I whipped up a fish broth from the bones.

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Risotto with Orata, Leeks, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Saffron

  • 1 cup of Carnaroli or Arborio rice (Italians measure rice by demitasse cups, 1 cup for each person and one for the pot)
  • 1 cup of leftover, cooked, fish
  • ½ cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 large leek, cleaned, cut in half and sliced into thin slivers
  • 5 cups fish or vegetable stock
  • 1 packet of saffron powder or a few threads of saffron
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • a few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
  • salt to taste

Add the packet of saffron or the threads to the broth and bring to a simmer. Heat a large stovetop casserole pan over medium-high heat and melt butter at the bottom of the pan. When the butter is melted add the leeks and sauté until they are translucent. Add the rice and coat it in the butter, toasting it a bit. When the rice becomes opaque, after about 1 minute, add the wine to the pan, enough to cover the rice, stir frequently.

When the rice has absorbed the wine, add a ladle of broth and the sun dried tomatoes to the pan and continue stirring. Continue adding the broth as the rice absorbs it, you want it to almost dry out before adding the broth each time.

When the rice is finished it should be al dente and all of the liquid should be absorbed. Remove from heat and toss in the cooked fish, chopped parsley and a tab of butter. Serve immediately.


One Year Ago: Trattoria al Gambero, Porto Cesareo (LE)

Two Years Ago: Reezy Peezy

Four Years Ago: Frittata di Maccheroni & Asparagus and Spinach Risotto

~ by italicious on February 14, 2013.

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