HHM Dec21 leader

Fisherman's Risotto

For those who love to travel, few locales are as appealing as Italy's seaside villas. As renowned for their cuisine as they are for their beauty, such villas are often a vacationer's paradise. But you needn't head overseas to enjoy the flavors of Italy. Instead, bring this Mediterranean food to your very own kitchen with the following recipe for "Fisherman's Risotto" from Michael White's "Fiamma: The Essence of Contemporary Italian Cooking" (Wiley).

Makes 4 Main Course Servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil,

plus 2 or 3 tablespoons additional oil to finish the risotto
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
4 to 5 cups canned low-sodium stock, heated

Pescatore Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and extra for drizzling
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 pound Manila, littleneck, or cherrystone clams,

scrubbed and purged
1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup squid (bodies only), cleaned, split lengthwise, and cut crosswise into thin slices
1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

plus additional for sprinkling
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Make the Risotto:

In a large heavy skillet or saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the butter over medium-high heat until hot. Stir in the onion and cook until it is soft and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the rice, stirring to coat thoroughly with the oil, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the grains look opaque. Pour in wine and cook over high heat until the liquid almost completely evaporates, stirring constantly.

Adjust the heat down to medium-low. Slowly add the heated stock -- add 1/2 cup at a time — so that the rice stays wet but is never completely covered with liquid. Stir continuously. Once the rice absorbs all of the first amount of stock, continue adding 1/2 cupfuls of stock, letting each be absorbed before continuing with the next, and stirring constantly. Be patient and keep the heat on low. You should see the steam when you add the stock, but the rice should not stick.
Continue cooking until the rice is tender but still has a tiny hard spot in the center, 17 to 19 minutes of simmering time. The amount of liquid to be added can vary, but you should reserve 1/3 cup of stock to loosen the risotto before serving.

Have ready four heated flat bowls. Once the risotto is al dente, remove the pan from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the remaining extra-virgin olive oil and the final 1/3 cup of stock.

Tent the pan with aluminum foil and keep it warm over very low heat until ready to prepare the sauce, then ladle the risotto into the bowls, shaking or tapping each dish to spread it evenly in the bottom.

To Make the Pescatore Sauce:

In a large deep skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly colored, about 2 minutes. Add the clams, mussels, shrimp, and squid, cover, and cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked, and the clams and mussels have opened — 5 to 6 minutes. Discard any shellfish that do not open. With slotted spoon, spoon the shellfish onto risotto.

Pour the wine into the pan and add the tomatoes, parsley and red pepper flakes. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat and cook, mashing the tomatoes a bit with the back of a wooden spoon, until reduced by half — 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the reduced broth over shellfish and risotto. Top with a little parsley and a final drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.

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