There is a little local restaurant we know which is not too pricey and does the fish beautifully. This is where we always go to satisfy our cravings.
I love those gigantic prawns, the ones you have to get all messy in order to enjoy them properly. Actually the more messy it gets the more the experience is satisfying. Sometimes children give us a clue on how to enjoy life more.
And hey, shelling and sucking prawns is all part of the fun. The experience reminds me of getting completely soggy with prawns cooked in tomato sauce on the first date with my husband. My napkin looked like I murdered someone.
During my Italian summer I always buy fish several times a week. Try making this seafood risotto. It is not as complicated as you think and you can use any type of fish you like. Shellfish is ideal but you can add pieces of cod and salmon too for instance. You can also use frozen fish if you cannot find fresh one. A drop of white wine will enhance the flavour of this delicious risotto.
As I starter I fried some whitebait (little fish) as my children are mad about it. This is often served in restaurants as an aperitive with a glass of prosecco. Mmm.. che buono!
- Prep Time : 45 minutes
- Cook Time : 35 minutes
- fresh mussels - 500 g - 1.10 lbs
- fresh clams - 500 g - 1.10 lbs
- fresh squid cleaned (can be frozen too) - 150 g - 0.30 lbs
- prawns - 200 g - 5/8 cup
- rice for risotto - 300 g - 1 + 1/3 cup
- shallot or small onion - 1
- tomato - 1 large
- garlic cloves - 3
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- parsley - bunch
- dry white wine - 100 ml - 3.4 fl oz
- fish or vegetable broth - 1 Liter - 1.05 qt
Put the clams in a bowl of salty water for about one hour to get rid of any sand and grit.
Clean and scrape the mussels with a knife and remove their beards.
Put them in a colander and rinse them well under the tap. Heat up a pan over a source of heat then put in the clams and the mussels. Put the lid on and cook them over a high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes or until they have all opened. Stir from time to time. Do not overcook them.
Let them cool down then remove them from their shells; leave a handful aside still in their shells for the final decoration. Filter the juice they have released with a mesh strainer and set aside.
I have left the prawns still in their shells but you can remove them if you prefer.
Cut the squid into rings. Slice the onion finely. In a pan heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil, add the onion, stir fry it for a couple of minutes, add the squid, half of the white wine, salt and pepper, the chopped tomato and cook until soft.
Add the prawns to the pan with the squid and cook them for 4 to 5 minutes. Some people prefer to remove the shells of the prawns. This is up to you. I find that by leaving them on it will add more flavour to the risotto.
In a pan stir fry the garlic with 2 tbsp of olive oil (make sure you don't burn it) then remove it.
Add the rice and stir fry it for a couple of minutes whilst stirring all the time.
Add enough hot broth to cover all the rice up, add the juice of the clams and mussels, salt and pepper, parsley and the rest of the wine.
Cook for about 15 to 18 minutes or until packet instructions topping up with the stock from time to time as it dries out. During the last 5 minutes of cooking add all the fish, the chopped parsley and continue cooking whilst stirring all the time.
When it is cooked add 3 tbsp of olive oil, a grind of pepper and mix well. Decorate with the clams and mussels still in their shells and serve.