Feel free to vary the selection of seafood according to what you find and what looks fresh and best at the time. This is just a selection of possibilities, don’t worry if you have to leave something out or swap it for a different fish or shellfish.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 1 lb fresh baby clams (vongole), scrubbed clean
  • 1 lb fresh mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb white fish fillet
  • ½ lb raw shrimp, shell on
  • 6 cups simmering strong fish broth
  • ½ lb crayfish, shell on
  • 1 crab, cooked and split open
  • ½ dried red chile, chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • cups carnaroli rice
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Pour a glass of white wine into a deep skillet. Add the baby clams and steam well until all the shells have opened. Remove and discard any shells that do not open.
  2. Remove three quarters of the clams from their shells and reserve, together with the ones still in their shells. Strain the juices from the skillet through a fine strainer into a bowl.
  3. Cook the mussels in the same way as the clams and add their liquid to the bowl.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Add the fish fillet and fry on both sides, basting with the wine to keep it very soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste and flake it roughly. Remove from the heat and reserve until required.
  5. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a separate skillet. Add the shrimp and quickly fry until they are bright pink and cooked through, turning frequently and basting with wine.
  6. Peel the shrimp and add the shells and heads to the simmering fish broth.
  7. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Add the crayfish and quickly fry until cooked through, turning frequently and basting with wine. Once cooked, remove them from the pan and take off the legs and claws.
  8. Cut open the tails and remove all the white flesh. Place the claws, legs, and reserved flesh with the peeled shrimp and reserve. Add the carcasses to the stock.
  9. Remove all the dark and white meat from the crab, taking are to leave all the inedible parts behind. Reserve the claws.
  10. Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet. Add the chile, garlic, and parsley and fry for 2 minutes, then add the rice. Stir until the rice is thoroughly coated and crackling hot, then add a glass of wine.
  11. Stir for 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol, then add the juices from the clams and mussels. Stir until the grains absorb this liquid, then begin to alternate additions of wine and hot broth, which will need to be strained into the risotto. When the wine has been used, continue with the broth.
  12. Continue until the risotto is about two-thirds cooked, then add all the cooked seafood and fish including the shells, legs, and claws. Stir together thoroughly and continue to cook as before, adding the fish broth gradually and stirring constantly.
  13. When the rice is creamy but still firm to the bite, transfer to a warmed platter and arrange so that all the claws and shells are on the top. Serve immediately.

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