Black Risotto with Coral Aioli

The last time I made this risotto, I served it as a first course before a main course of sole fillets. I used the sole bones to make the stock, and the edge trimmings from the fillets I chopped and stirred into the risotto. You could also use prawns and a shellfish stock, or small chunks of monkfish.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or butter
  • 250-275 g (about 10 oz) Carnaroli, Arborio, Vialone, or other risotto rice
  • 1-1.25 litres (about 2 pints) fish stock
  • 2 sachets squid ink
  • 4-6 large diver scallops
  • cloves of fresh garlic, to taste
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper

Method

In a large pan gently fry the onion until soft. Stir in the rice until well coated, and then pour on a ladle of boiling stock and stir. Once it has been absorbed, add more stock, gradually using up all the stock until the rice is cooked through. You may add boiling water if you like your risotto creamy and the rice has absorbed all the stock. Or, if you prefer your risotto drier and firmer, do not use all the stock.

About halfway through cooking, add the contents of the ink sachets.

Meanwhile, separate the corals from the scallops, and poach the corals gently for a minute or so. Cut the scallops into strips, and cook them briefly in a little oil in a hot frying pan.

Put the corals and the peeled, chopped garlic in the blender, and process until smooth. Then gradually add about 80 mls (3 oz oil, as if making mayonnaise, together with a dash of lemon juice and seasoning.

Spoon the risotto into heated soup plates, put a spoonful of the coral aioli on top, and some strips of scallop on top of the sauce. Serve immediately.

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