Gino D'Acampo's seafood risotto
È tornato (he’s back)! Ahead of his new series 'Gino's Italian Family Adventure', our favourite Italian chef is in the kitchen sharing a recipe that’s close to his heart - his mother’s seafood risotto.
250g live clams
250g live mussels
80ml olive oil, plus more to serve
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1tsp chilli flakes
300ml dry white wine
150g Vialone nano risotto rice
150g raw prawns, shelled and deveined, the nicest 4 kept whole, the rest roughly chopped
800ml hot fish stock
Handful of flat leaf parsley leaves
40g salted butter, chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Fine sea salt
1. Scrub the clams and mussels under cold running water. Rinse away the grit and remove barnacles with a small, sharp knife. Remove the ‘beards’ from the mussels by pulling the dark, stringy pieces away from the shells. Drop the clams from a height into a large bowl a few times, to help them expel their sand, then wash briefly in cold water for a couple of minutes. Check none of the clams are open or broken. Discard any open clams and mussels that do not shut when tapped firmly on the sink, or any with broken shells. Set aside in a colander.
2. Put 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a wide saucepan with a lid. Add half the garlic and allow to warm in the pan with the oil so it becomes fragrant, but the garlic doesn’t burn. Add a pinch of the chilli flakes and fry for a few seconds, then add the clams, mussels and half the wine. Cover with a lid and leave to steam and open for 4-5 minutes. Pour the clams, mussels and their juices into a bowl and set aside.
3. In the same pan, heat another 2 tbsp of the oil and the remaining garlic and fry gently, along with another pinch of the chilli flakes. Then add the rice and stir continuously for 2 minutes until the grains are coated and shiny. Pour in the remaining wine and stir until absorbed. Add the chopped prawns to cook gently.
4. When the wine has been absorbed, start adding the stock slowly, waiting until the liquid has been absorbed before adding the next bit, and stirring occasionally.
5. Meanwhile, pick half the meat from the clams and mussels and add to the risotto with some of their cooking liquid, although avoid adding the last bits, as they may be sandy.
6. Tear the parsley into small pieces and add to the risotto. After roughly 18 minutes the rice should be almost cooked and the stock nearly absorbed. Add the rest of the clams and mussels in their shells, stir to combine and then take off the heat.
7. Add the butter and stir, so the risotto becomes creamy. Leave to rest for 2 minutes while you heat a small frying pan over a high heat with the remaining olive oil. Add the 4 whole prawns, season with salt and fry for 1 minutes on each side until just cooked and juicy, then remove from the heat. Add most of the lemon zest to the risotto and check the seasoning before serving on warmed plates, topped with the fried prawns, remaining lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil.