Lobster Risotto

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
Lobster risotto topped with basil

“Lobster risotto was our signature dish at ‘Teatro Goldoni,’ our third restaurant in Washington DC. We only had a limited availability every night (25-30) with only two chefs (including Chef Fabrizio) being responsible for creating the dish. White Truffle and tomato is a very unusual combination.

Due to the natural acidity of the tomato and the delicateness of the white truffle, chefs stay away from mixing those ingredients. However we found a way to make it work by drying the tomatoes for twenty-four hours, de-seeding and peeling them and finally roast them. This process let the sweetness of the tomato come through and enhance the taste of the lobster and white truffle. The result was a combination of two of the most popular ingredients (white truffle and lobster) with an Italian twist (tomatoes and risotto).”

Chef Fabrizio Aielli, owner and head chef of the Aielli Restaurant Group in Naples, including the restaurants Sea Salt, Barbatella, Grappino and Dorona.

Photo by: James Smith

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    For the roasted tomatoes
  • 2 medium-size plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Olive oil|
  • For garlic-infused olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For Risotto
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic-infused Olive Oil
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups Acquerello Carnaroli Rice
  • 1½ cup dry white wine
  • 4-5 cups lobster stock (seafood or vegetable stock works too)
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 10 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ¾ pound lobster meat, cooked and cut into ½-inch cubes,⅓ cup plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped italian parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons white truffle oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Garnish: Grated parmesan cheese

Make the roasted tomatoes:

  1. At least 6 hours before you plan to make the dish, season tomato halves with salt and oregano. Place in a colander and let sit for 2 hours to release moisture and concentrate flavors.
  2. Preheat oven to 125 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place tomatoes, cut-side down, on foil and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until tomatoes are slightly shrunken and cooked but not dry, about 3 to 4 hours.
  3. Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes before handling. Remove skins if desired.

Make the garlic-infused olive oil:

  1. About an hour before you plan to make the dish, place garlic and olive oil in a small saucepan over very low heat. Cook until garlic becomes very soft and flavor infuses into oil, about 1 hour. Strain out garlic and season oil to taste

Make the risotto:

  1. Add garlic oil to a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté, stirring constantly to make sure it doesn’t brown. Add rice and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add wine and stir constantly until absorbed. Add stock, about ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and adding more as liquid absorbs. Continue process until rice is soft and creamy, but still al dente.
  2. Stir in roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, and lobster meat. Cook mixture for another 4 minutes, then stir in butter, parsley, truffle oil, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine, then transfer to serving bowls and garnish with parsley and grated Parmesan.
  • Recipe from chef Fabrizio Aielli, owner and head chef of Aielli Restaurant Group, Naples, Florida

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