Creamy mus­sel risotto with fen­nel

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Un­der R140 • Serves 4 Prepa­ra­tion time: 35 min­utes • Cook­ing time: 30 min­utes

• 125ml white wine • 1kg half-shell mus­sels • 1.5L fish or vegetable stock • 15ml each olive oil and but­ter • 3 cloves gar­lic, chopped • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped • 2 small fen­nel bulbs, chopped • 1 red chilli, chopped • 15ml to­mato paste • about 250ml risotto rice • 80ml sour cream or crème fraîche • chopped fen­nel leaves, to gar­nish

1 Bring the white wine to the boil, stir in the mus­sels and steam for 3 min­utes with the lid on. Scoop out the mus­sels and add the stock to the wine. Set aside.

2 Heat the oil and but­ter in a sep­a­rate pan and fry the gar­lic, spring onions, fen­nel, chilli and to­mato paste for a minute or two un­til fra­grant. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 min­utes un­til it’s coated with the mix­ture. Stir the stock, a la­dle-full at a time, into the rice. Wait un­til the stock is com­pletely ab­sorbed be­fore adding more; stir oc­ca­sion­ally. Af­ter about 15 to 20 min­utes, the rice should be al dente. Avoid the last bit of stock at the bot­tom of the pot in case there’s sand or shell residue in it. If you wish to rinse the mus­sels be­fore­hand, don’t do so ex­ces­sively as you’ll spoil the seafood flavour.

3 Sea­son the rice with salt and pep­per, then stir in the cooked mus­sels and sour cream, along with a sprin­kling of fen­nel leaves. Re­move from the heat and al­low to stand for 2 min­utes be­fore dish­ing up. Tuck in im­me­di­ately!

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