seafood risotto – serves 4


1 medium onion finely diced
100g unsalted butter cut into 1 cm cubes and kept cold plus another 40g
400g Vialone Nano or Carnaroli risotto rice
200ml dry white wine
1500ml good quality liquid fish stock
175g frozen peas

selection of firm seafood – for example:
   mussels (live or pre-cooked)
   squid – cut into ½ inch rings
   scallops - halved
   tiger prawns (peeled and raw)
   langoustine (peeled and raw)
   monkfish tail  – cut into 2 cm cubes

Bring the fish stock to boil – cover and leave simmering on low heat. You may or may not need to use all of the stock. The absorbency of the rice and desired texture of the finished dish will dictate this. If you have peeled shells from any crustaceans, put these into the stock to increase the flavour.

If using live mussels, steam over a high heat with a glass of white wine in a covered pan for about three minutes until mussels have opened – discard any that don’t open. Allow to cool a little and remove mussels from shells.

Cooking liquor can be strained and added to fish stock.

Cook the seafood in separate pan until heated through. Don’t overcook since it will continue to cook when added to the rice.

Over a medium heat in a large heavy based pan, soften onion in 40g butter for 3 minutes. Don’t let butter or onion brown.

Add the rice and stir to coat in butter. Cook for two minutes stirring occasionally until rice is translucent. 

Add a glass of white wine to the rice and stir (heat this in microwave before adding). 

Pour another glass of wine and pour this into chef – repeat this step as necessary. 

When wine is absorbed by the rice add a ladle of hot stock. 

When stock is almost all absorbed, add another ladle and frozen peas.

Repeat until all stock has been absorbed – should be about 3 to 4 ladles. This takes around 15 to 20 minutes in total. It’s important to stir regularly to avoid rice sticking to the base of the pan – but not constantly since this could break up the rice.

Before the end, add any released liquid from the cooking of the seafood to risotto. When adding final ladle of stock, add the seafood.

When all of the stock is absorbed, rice should have a loose creamy texture and still have a little firmness to the bite. Getting the desired texture may take a little practise. Not too soupy but not to stiff. 

Remove from the heat for one minute to allow to cool a little, otherwise butter may split.

Add the chilled butter cubes and beat in until all the butter has melted.

Season to taste.

Garnish if required, and serve.


my children's Friday evening favourite. While not taken from the book - Made in Italy: Food and Stories by Giorgio Locatelli - I can recommend this for a very thorough treatise on risotto as well as other Italian dishes.