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Quick Risotto Rosa with Alaskan King Crab and Citrus Gastrique

Quick Risotto Rosa with Alaskan King Crab and Citrus Gastrique

Friends in Italy taught me the easiest and quickest way to make a great risotto.  Forget the tired arm from endless stirring and try this recipe!  And to really make it decadent, this version is finished with Alaskan King crab!  

Serves 6


4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 cups arborio, vialone nano, or carnaroli rice
1 ½ cups canned diced organic tomatoes
2 cups bottled clam juice or fish stock
1 cup dry white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds Alaskan King Crab legs (see note below)
3/4 cup grated grana padano cheese
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flat-leaf parsley leaves, as a garnish


Place the bottled clam juice and 1 1/2 cups water in a saucepan on the back burner of the stove and maintain the heat below a boil. Place the tomatoes in a blender and process until smooth. Add to the pan and stir together. Place a ladle in the pan.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with oil, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until some of the liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Add all of the hot stock and stir together. Cover and simmer on low heat stirring occasionally to prevent the risotto from sticking to the bottom of the pan. After 20 minutes, check the consistency. If it’s chalky, cover and continue to cook until the risotto is creamy, another 5 to 10 minutes. If it gets too thick, add additional hot water.

Remove the pan from the heat, add another ladle of hot water, and stir in the butter, half of the grana padano and the orange zest.   Fold in the crab.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Remove the cover and stir. Place in serving bowls, drizzle with the citrus gastrique and serve immediately garnished with parsley. Pass the remaining grated cheese in a small bowl alongside.

NOTE:  Try to buy frozen Alaskan King Crab legs, but do not thaw them prior to cooking.  Simply place them in a large steamer and heat for 8-10 minutes.  If you watched the episode on Gets Fresh, you'll see why cooking King crab legs while they are still frozen is the best way to unleash their incredible flavor.



3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
Juice of 3 lemons
Juice of 3 grapefruit
Juice of 3 oranges

IN a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the sugar and water, stirring until dissolved. Bring to a boil without stirring and simmer until the sugar is light golden. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the citrus juice all at one time. It will bubble up so be careful. Place the pan back on the heat over medium high and continue to simmer until the mixture is thick, syrupy and concentrated.