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SAFFRON RISOTTO WITH ROASTED FENNEL AND SPICY MUSSELS IN TOMATO SAUCE

SAFFRON RISOTTO WITH ROASTED FENNEL AND SPICY MUSSELS IN TOMATO SAUCE

This is a classic combination, and a great way to infuse summer in Spain into your winter. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. It is tasty and adds a vibrant sunshine colour to whatever you're cooking. which is why I chose to use it with this risotto.

Here's what you'll need

For the risotto:
  • 1 tbsp each butter and olive oil combined
  • 1½ cup Arborio rice (or other short grain rice will work)
  • 2 shallots (chopped finely)
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken stock (stock cubes are fine, but I recommend making your own)
  • saffron (a bunch of strands)
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • salt & pepper to taste
For the topping:
  • 1½ cups chopped tomatoes
  • 3 whole fennel bulbs
  • 2 cup cooked mussels
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon juice & zest
Here's how:
  1. firstly, you'll start the risotto, sautee onions and garlic in a good nub of butter until transluscent

  2. add arborio rice and stir around a few minutes until it's starting to colour

  3. add white wine and saffron and stir

  4. SAFFRON RISOTTO WITH ROASTED FENNEL AND SPICY MUSSELS IN TOMATO SAUCE

  5. keep stirring, keep stirring, keep stirring until all the liquid is absorbed

  6. ladle in heated seafood stock

  7. keep stirring, keep stirring, keep stirring until all the liquid is absorbed

  8. ladle in heated seafood stock

  9. keep stirring, keep stirring, keep stirring until all the liquid is absorbed

  10. keep doing this until the rice is slightly crunchy in the centre and soft outside...and you're ready

  11. the risotto should be runny and gooey, not stiff and dry

  12. in the meantime, cut the fennel in half lenghtwise and cut into wedges

  13. coat with olive oil, salt and pepper

  14. pop them into a 350° oven for 30 minutes

  15. SAFFRON RISOTTO WITH ROASTED FENNEL AND SPICY MUSSELS IN TOMATO SAUCE
  16. to make the tomato sauce, sautee onions and garlic until frangrant and translucent

  17. add chopped tomatoes and simmer on low heat

  18. add the lemon juice and mussels in the last 5 minutes to avoid them getting tough and chewy

  19. scoop out the risotto onto a warmed plate, tilt the plate to spread the rice out

  20. add the fennel

  21. top with mussels and tomato sauce

  22. sprinkle with chopped parsley and lemon zest

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