Seafood risotto

Trying to pin down a recipe that you first ate at one of your favourite restaurants isn’t easy. But when the ingredients are few and of the classic and timeless Mediterranean variety it’s definitely worth a shot.

I never order risotto when eating out. NEVER. But seeing this one on a friend’s Instagram and how amazing it looked I couldn’t not. It was from Konoba Mika in Novigrad Dalmatia, and it delivered every bit of knockout flavour it hinted at and then some, and never was I so glad I had ordered something based on an Insta post.

And even though the restaurant offers either mussel or prawn versions I go with a little of both. Consistency wise, when spooned onto your plate the risotto should, with a gentle shake, ooze it’s way to the edges. I also think colour wise they might be using a homemade fish stock or a little more tomato paste than I did as theirs was a touch darker, but I guess I’ll just have to try it next time I’m in town to make sure.  😉

what you need

  • 1 kg black mussels, from the Novigrad Sea if you should be so lucky, removed from the shells and de-bearded {NOT COOKED}
  • 500 g green prawns, peeled and cleaned, tails removed
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • one large brown onion, finely chopped
  • three garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • two cups of arborio rice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste or concentrate
  • 2 L stock {chicken, vegetable, or fish}, approximately, you may need a little more
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

what to do

  • Before beginning make sure you’ve prepared the mussels and prawns and have the stock ready. Heat some olive oil in a cast iron pot or similar and gently fry the onion for about ten to fifteen minutes, until translucent, golden, and starting to caramelise. Add the garlic and fry for about thirty seconds, then add the rice. Stir through to coat the rice well with the oil.
  • When the rice just starts to “catch” on the bottom of the pan add the paprika and tomato paste and stir through, toasting for a minute or so. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and we will then begin to add the stock, about a cup or so at a time, waiting for it to be absorbed before adding more. You will probably need about a litre, or four cups, at this stage.
  • When the rice is about halfway done add the wine, turn the temperature up to evaporate the alcohol, then return to a simmer. Give it all a good sprinkle of pepper around now too. Add another cup of stock when the wine has been absorbed, and when the rice is almost done add the seafood, and stir through.
  • Keep topping up with stock while the fish cooks, you want there to be almost a soup like consistency as it nears the finish line, because this will absorb a little upon serving and leave you with that gorgeously oozing risotto. The seafood should take about five to ten minutes at the most, check if it needs any more pepper or salt, and sprinkle with the parsley just before serving.

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