Risotto rice is a special type that can absorb a lot of liquid and still retain its shape. Eat risotto as soon as it is made; it does not reheat well. Italians often form leftover risotto into large balls, known as suppli or arancini, which are crumbed and fried and eaten hot or cold.
1.75 litres (6 1 fl oz/7 cups) fish stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
2, finely chopped onions
2 cloves, finely chopped garlic
1 stalk, finely chopped celery
450 g (1 lb/2 cups) risotto rice
8–10, cleaned black mussels
150 g (5 ½ oz), cubedblue-eye cod fillet
8, peeled and deveined, tails intact raw prawns (shrimp)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
20 g (¾ oz) butter
of 1 lemon zest
1–2 teaspoons lemon juice
1. Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat until just simmering, then cover.
2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and then cook for 2–3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Add rice and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 3–4 minutes, until rice grains are well coated.
3. Gradually add 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of the hot stock to the rice, stirring over low heat with a wooden spoon, until all the stock has been absorbed. Repeat, adding 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) stock each time until only a small amount of stock is left and the rice is just tender — this should take 20–25 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bring 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) water to the boil in a saucepan. Add mussels, cover with a lid and then cook for about 4–5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the mussels have opened. Drain and discard any unopened ones. If the mussels are large, remove them from their shells. Set them aside until you're ready to add them to the risotto. Add fish, prawns and the remaining hot stock to rice and stir well. Cook for 5–10 minutes, or until seafood is just cooked and the rice is tender and creamy. Remove from heat, add the mussels, cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Stir parsley, oregano, thyme, butter, lemon zest and lemon juice through risotto, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Leave to rest, covered, for 2 minutes, then serve.
5. Fish substitution coley, ling, cod