Linguine with clams is an Italian classic and one of my favorite dishes, but this risotto with clams is a wonderful variation, especially with the addition of the scallions. I am from the north of Italy, where risotto is more of the norm than dry pasta, so risotto with seafood is common, especially in the coastal areas. In this recipe, I add the clams in their shells, but you can shuck your clams, reserve their liquid, chop them a bit, then add them and their juice in the last 5 minutes of the -risotto–cooking time. Don’t add them sooner or the clams will become overcooked and tough.
- 3 tablespoons -extra--virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup crushed San Marzano canned whole plum tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed well
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
Bring 7 to 8 cups of water or stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Heat the olive oil in a large, shallow, -straight–sided pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and onion, and cook until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to -medium–high. Add the rice all at once, and stir continuously until the grains are toasted but not colored, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, and cook until the liquid is almost absorbed.
Add the tomatoes and salt. Bring to a simmer, then ladle in about 2 cups of the water. Stir, and cook until the liquid is almost absorbed, about 5 minutes. Ladle in 1 more cup of water, and again simmer until it is almost absorbed.
Add the clams and another cup of water. Cover, and continue to cook and stir in the same manner until the liquid is almost absorbed. Keep adding water and cooking in this manner until rice is al dente and clams have opened, about 15 to 20 minutes in all. Once the clams start to open, stir in the scallions and turn off the heat. Beat in the butter and serve.