Risotto of Seafood, Asparagus and Saffron

Risotto of Seafood, Asparagus and Saffron

Risotto of Seafood, Asparagus and Saffron

Episode 75: Debra's Menu


Serves 4


1 tablespoon/15 ml
One 8-ounce/225-g filet monkfish, skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces
16 fresh mussels, de-bearded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 tablespoons/30 ml olive oil
3 shallots finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 pinch saffron strands
2 cups/390 g Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
3/4 cup/170 ml dry white wine
(about) 8 cups vegetable stock, hot
1 pound thin asparagus, woody ends removed, cut crosswise into 1 ½-inch/4-cm lengths
4 tablespoons/55 g butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup /55 g mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons/about 5 g finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 lemon, juiced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Place a large heavy-based sauté pan over a high heat. Drizzle the olive oil into the hot pan. Add the monkfish and the mussels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes or until the mussels begin to open.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook for a further 2 minutes or until the shrimp are just cooked through and the mussels are completely open. Discard any mussels that do not open. Remove the mussel meat from the shells and return the mussel meat to the sauté pan with the shrimp and monkfish. Discard the mussel shells. Set aside and reserve for the risotto.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme and saffron and sauté for 2 minutes or until the shallots are tender but not brown.
  4. Add the rice and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the white wine and cook for 3 minutes, or until it is absorbed. Add 3/4 cup/175 ml of the hot vegetable stock and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed.
  5. Continue adding the hot stock, 3/4 cup/175 ml at a time, until the rice is al dente (the center of each grain of rice should be slightly firm). This should take about 22 minutes. Add the asparagus and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove the stems of thyme. The leaves of the thyme should have fallen off the stems and into the risotto. Add the seafood and then remove the risotto from the heat. Stir in the butter and mascarpone cheese. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice and season the risotto generously to taste with salt and pepper. 
  7. Divide the risotto among four warm serving bowls. Garnish with some of the asparagus tip pieces and serve.

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