recipes — 02 April 2018

It’s looks so easy to make, yet so difficult to prepare a well cooked risotto. It’s usually overcooked, or made with rice other than arborio. I overcooked it the first time, and had to re-do it using more white fish and cook it for less time. If you don’t have arborio rice use long grain rice but be prepared to eat “mixed seafood rice” instead of a good risotto.

Ingredients (* from Lidl)
    • 2 small carrots , roughly chopped*
    • 3 tomatoes , squashed*
    • 1 bay leaf*
    • 1 small bunch fresh parsley*
    • 1.5 kg mixed seafood (I used 3-4 red mullets, 2 small cods, small calamari cut into ring, Lidl king prawns)*
    • ½ bulb fennel , finely chopped, herby tops reserved
    • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 1 pinch crumbled dried chilli
    • 1 pinch saffron strands
    • extra virgin olive oil*
    • 1 lemon , juice of*
    • 2 cloves of garlic , peeled and finely chopped*
    • 400g of Arborio rice (for risotto). You can use long grain rice and just call it mixed seafood rice, although it won’t be the same
    • 4 or 5 sticks of celery , trimmed and finely chopped*
    • sea salt*
    • freshly ground black pepper*
    • 2 glasses of white wine*
  1. Put 1.5 litres of water into a large pan with the carrots, tomatoes, bay leaf and whole parsley sprig and bring to the boil, adding your whole fish but not your shellfish. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove each fish from the pan and flake the flesh away from the bones. (If you have a cod head, try to remove the cheeks as they’re the best bit!) Put the meat on a plate to one side; return any bones to the stock to simmer for another 15 minutes max
  2. In the meantime start making the risotto: Add a knob of butter in a pan, add the celery, onion and garlic. Also add the saffron, chilli, fennel and fennel seeds and lightly cook very slowly in low heat without colouring for 15 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  3. Then add the rice and turn up the heat for a few minutes.
  4. Time to add the stock and fish. Add all fish except shellfish and start adding a spoon of stock at a time. When absorbed, add some more.
  5. 10 minutes into it, add the prawns.
  6. Keep adding until rice is cooked (be careful not to overcook it). Seafood pasta is not served with parmesan so just add the lemon juice, season well and serve.

Recipe taken & modified from Jamie Oliver.


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