Seafood and Saffron Risotto

Seafood and Saffron Risotto

A classic Italian rice dish, Risotto alla Milanese, is taken to the next level with loads of fresh seafood.  This is a luxurious dish that takes time to execute, so Rajika likes to save it for her fancy Saturday night dinners. Rich, white wine like Chardonnay pairs perfectly with this dish. 

Prep time: 30 minutes  Cook time: 30 minutes   Serves: 6 people


1 pre-cooked Whole lobster using the claws and tail meat

1 lb Shrimp, U26-30, peeled and deveined, tails off

1 lb Sea Scallops, U10-15

4 cloves Garlic

8 sprigs Thyme, fresh

1/4 cup. Lobster broth base

2 cups Arborio rice

6 large Shallots, small dice

2 cups White wine

2 large pinches Saffron threads

¼ cup Milk, whole

3 cups Diced tomatoes, drained

½ cup Italian parsley, minced

6 tbsp Canola oil

4 tbsp Butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees 

Slice shrimp and scallops in half, add to a mixing bowl, season well with salt and pepper, add extra virgin olive oil, garlic cloves, thyme, and toss gently together.  

On a foil lined sheet pan, place shrimp and scallops evenly and roast for 8-10 minutes or until shrimp is pink and translucent, remove garlic cloves and thyme, let it rest. 

Break down your whole lobster tail, remove the shell from the claws so they stay intact, remove the shell from the tail and cut into chunks, place all the lobster meat into the juices of the cooked shrimp and scallops on the sheet pan.

Add lobster shells to stock and bring to just below simmer. The broth should be warm, not boiling.  

Place 2 tbsp of butter and a good drizzle of olive oil into the bottom of dutch oven or wide, heavy duty bottom pan.

Add shallots and cook until they soften.

Add rice, stirring until coated.  Cook the rice, stirring frequently to avoid sticking until it starts to toast just ever so lightly.

Deglaze with white wine.

When liquid is absorbed, start adding your stock, one ladle at a time, stirring* until it gets absorbed, then add another ladle full.  Turn heat down to medium low.  

Keep flame on medium low heat and continue adding warm stock** slowly and only as it becomes absorbed.  

Mix saffron threads with warm (not hot) milk and add to risotto.  Mix in gently.

The rice should be cooked “al dente” and loose, not heavy and mushy. Keep the heat low, don’t stir too much, and let the magic happen.You may not need all of the stock

Turn off heat, add the rest of the butter, healthy amount of little olive oil, diced tomatoes, and parsley, then gently stir to incorporate

Add seafood, stir in lightly again.

Put the lid on and let it rest for 1 minute.

Serve and eat immediately***.


* Resist the temptation to keep stirring. Stir gently and infrequently to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom. Overstirring will cause too much starch to release into the liquid causing a lumpy, sticky rice.  

** There may be stock leftover, that is alright.  DO NOT feel like you have to use it all.  The final dish should be slightly loose rice with a creamy sauce.

***This dish can also be enjoyed by batch cooking.  However, the risotto should be cooked halfway.  When it’s time to eat, finish cooking the rice, add the seafood, and enjoy immediately.


Rajika Basu / Scott Youkilis    August 2020

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