If you can find bay scallops, they are perfect for this dish. If not, sea scallops are still good. If your sea scallops are extremely large, you can cut them in half.
- 1 1/2 lb red and/or yellow peppers (about 4 medium)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 3 oz (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup minced yellow onion
- 1 lb (2 2/3 cups) Carnaroli rice
- 1 lb scallops, muscle tabs removed
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 3 or 4 large basil leaves, torn into small pieces or chopped
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- Kosher salt, as needed
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Rub the peppers with oil and place them in a baking dish. Roast the peppers until they are tender enough to collapse and the skin is wrinkled and starting to pull away, about 20 minutes. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover them to help loosen the skin. When they are cool enough to handle, cut around the stem and pull out the seeds and ribs. Make a cut through one side of the pepper and open it flat to scrape out any remaining seeds or ribs. Cut the peppers into medium dice and set aside.
- Heat the broth in a pot over low heat; keep warm.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and toast lightly, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
- Add enough of the broth to cover the rice by ½-inch, and cook, stirring frequently to be sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. As the rice absorbs the broth, keep adding more, ½ cup at a time. Add the diced peppers and the scallops to the rice after it has cooked for 10 minutes. Continue adding broth and stirring until the rice is tender and creamy and the scallops are cooked, 6 to 8 minutes more.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, the parsley, basil, cheese, if using, and garlic and stir vigorously until the risotto is creamy. Taste and season with salt, if needed. Serve at once on heated plates.
If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to heat up the oven to roast the peppers, you may place them directly on an open flame for few minutes, making sure you rotate the peppers once each side is well charred, then place under cold water and quickly peel them or let them cool and then peel them. You may peel the peppers in advance and if you have a lot of them you may use them for other different preparations, such as on pasta, as an appetizer, or even in any type of meat preparation or with fish.
If you don’t want to use any butter in your recipe, you may also purée the peppers separately and add them during cooking. This will still give you a somewhat creamy consistency without adding butter.