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Mussels and Clams Risotto

Seriously tasty, it does work for any elegant dinner you want to pull (although I do make it often, and not only for formal dinners). Most of the prep can be made in advance, so you just make the risotto at the last minute. As it often happens, I'm stealing the image from somewhere, but will replace it as soon as I make it again


It will take you just 30 mins from time to finish, including the preparation and cooking time (assuming your broth is already made).


Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 120gr risotto rice (Carnaroli or Arborio) - this quantity makes a 1st course, but if this is your main dish for the night, use 80gr per person

  • 1 Lit broth: use fish homemade broth, choosing 1 ray wing, 4 prawns, and the head/bones of a white fish if you have it to make it.

  • 100gr cooked mussels (preferably from fresh, cook following the Mussels "alla Toscana" recipe, otherwise bought ready to eat could also work)

  • 100gr fresh, raw peeled prawns (king sie if possible, and cut them in 3 parts)

  • 100gr fresh, clean calamari rings (or other type of squid)

  • 2 glasses of dry white wine

  • 3 slugs of olive oil

  • 15gr butter for the "mantecatura"

  • Fine salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 Tbsp dry parsley (or 4 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley)

  • 1 and 1/2 onion finely diced (but not minced)

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • NO PARMISAN - this is fish!


Method:

  • For the prawns: stir fry 1.5 cloves of garlic in a slug of olive oil, add the prawns, 1 Tbsp parsley and stir fy for 2 mins

  • Add 1/2 glass of white wine to the prawns, and cook for a further 2 mins - set aside

  • For the calamari rings: do exactly as you did for the prawns - set aside

  • Have your shelled mussels next to you (if you cooked them from fresh, do not shell 2 mussels per person, for decoration)

  • Warm up the broth until it's simmering and keep it at that temperature next to you

  • Stir fry the onion in the slug of olive oil to make a soffritto until soft and translucent but without having taken any colour

  • Add the risotto rice and stir it until it "pearls"

  • Add the glass of white wine and stir it well - it will absorb it in a second

  • Add the warm broth one ladle spoon at a time, ensuring the rice has fully absorbed the liquid before adding another ladle spoon

TIP: never add all the broth at once, this method allows the amid to be released from the rice, giving it the typical creamy texture, plu the rice will be perfectly cooked before you finish all the measured liquid

  • After 15mins add the cooked fish and stir well

  • After 2 mins start tasting the rice and continue to add the broth a little bit at a time, stopping as soon as the rice is cooked and still "al dente"

TIP: The Risotto “punto di cottura” (= cooking point) is achieved without adding any more liquid, but keeping the pot on the heat and continously stirring, allowing for the rice to absorb any excess liquid that remained in the pot

TIP: the risotto will stick to the bottom, that's normal, just do not lift what was sticking when stirring it (but of course, do not let it burn, sticking and burning are different concepts!). Overnight soaking the pot later in boling water, bicarbonate of soda and washing up liquid will sort it.

  • Add the salt and pepper at this stage, then the remaining Tbsp of parsley

  • Take the risotto off the hob and proceed with the "mantecatura" by adding the butter and stirring well

  • Serve warm sprinkled with a little parsley and 2 mussel shells per diner if you have them

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