Orzotto with tomato sauce, ouzo, shellfish, and feta mousse is a great new recipe from a Greek- Italian chef based in Milan, Italy.
By Giorgio Pintzas Monzani
It’s time to step up your Greek-food game with this super tasty version of the dish that all Greeks have eaten at least once in their lives: κριθαροτο, (critharòto).
We call it orzotto here in Italy. Whatever you call it, this is the perfect way to start off your new year with a healthy Greek twist.
Orzotto or critharotto easily updated with new tastes, flavors
A staple of many yayades, and featured on Sunday menus, critharoto/orzotto can be enjoyed with a mushroom sauce even on cold Winter days.
Ouzo, seafood and feta… sound familiar? Yes. Sounds obvious? Not this time. My version will bring back memories of Summertime for you and your guests.
Orzotto with Tomato Sauce, Ouzo, Seafood and Feta Mousse
- 300 grams orzo (Barilla’s should be perfect)
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 350 grams tomato sauce
- 70 ml ouzo liquor
- 200 grams seafood/shellfish mix (you can ask it at your local fishmonger’s or get frozen seafood mix at the market)
- 200 grams feta cheese
- 50 ml milk
- extra virgin olive oil
- dried oregano
- two cloves of garlic
For the Feta Cheese Mousse:
Place the feta and in a blender and blend while adding warm milk in a trickle. Go slow and check halfway through adding the milk, to make sure the consistency is not runny and remains perfectly stable on the back of a spoon.
For the seafood:
As mentioned above, you can get the shellfish or seafood mix either fresh from your trusted fishmonger or frozen at the supermarket. In any case, the procedure for using it will be the same.
In a frying pan, heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil with one clove of garlic. When hot, add your fish and sauté for 30 seconds over medium heat.
Then add half of your ouzo and put the lid on the pan.
After the shells open, wait another minute and then turn off the flame.
The shellfish will not be added directly to the orzotto; rather, we will put it on top of it.
For the Orzotto:
Place your vegetable stock in a pot to heat up.
In the meantime, place one tablespoon of oil and a whole clove of garlic in a separate pot. When hot, add the tomato sauce, a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper and cook over low heat for ten minutes until concentrated and paste-like.
At that point, we remove our garlic salla sauce and add our orzo: cook this for one minute in the sauce and then add the other half of the ouzo to this mixture.
After the alcohol has evaporated, add the broth and continue cooking, like a traditional risotto, for ten minutes.
Once cooked, add the dried oregano and a teaspoon of oil and stir. Be sure to taste at the end to check that the salt level is to your liking.
When ready to serve, place the Orzotto in the center of your plates, placing the seafood on top; top this off with dollops of the feta cheese mousse.
This recipe serves approximately four people. Enjoy your meal and have fun!
Giorgio Pintzas Monzani is a Greek-Italian chef, writer and consultant who lives in Milan. His Instagram page can be found here.