Seafood Risotto

Seafood Risotto from Scratch (Risotto ai Frutti di Mare)

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 as a starter and 4 as a main 1x


Seafood Risotto recipe from scratch. We’ll make the seafood stock before cooking the risotto.



Fish Stock

  • about 1kg (2.2 lb) fish bones and skin
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 litres (8 cups) water


  • 1218 large prawns (shrimps)
  • 500g (1.1lb) fresh mussels (in shell)
  • 500g (1.1lb) clams (in shell)
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine (or water)
  • 200g (7oz) squid

The Risotto

  • 3 Tbsp EV olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 350g (1 3/4 cups) risotto rice, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (skip if you don’t do alcohol)
  • salt as needed
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • some red chilli flakes (optional)


Fish Stock

  1. Clean the fish bones of blood and place in a large saucepan or stockpot.
  2. Roughly chop up the leek, carrot and celery and place in the pot.
  3. Add everything else in and bring to a gentle boil on medium heat. Skim any scum that comes to the surface. Let’s move on to the prawns (shrimps).
  4. At the end of the 25 minutes, strain the stock, discarding all the cooked seafood.

The Seafood

  1. Shell the prawns, leaving the tails on. Clean the heads of all the gunge, rinse the shells and dump them into the fish stock.
  2. Devein the prawns by gently pulling the vein out through body opening at the head end. Set aside.
  3. Scrub the mussels and clams clean and place them into 2 separate small saucepans.
  4. Split the 1/2 glass of wine between the 2 saucepans, turn the heat on high, cover and cook for about 1-2 minutes, until the mussels and clams are cooked. The shells will all be opened when they are done, and it doesn’t take much time. Do not throw away the unopened clams and mussels, read the tip above.
  5. Strain the mussels and clams through a fine mesh sieve, saving the liquor (the liquid).
  6. Remove the meat from most of the mussels and clams, saving 3 shells of each for decorative purposes. Set aside until later.
  7. Clean and slice the squid into rings. Set aside.

Let’s Cook the Risotto

  1. Keep the finished and strained stock simmering on the hob on low heat. Same goes for shop bought stock, if that’s the route you’re taking.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil on low heat and sauté the onions for 3 minutes, stirring.
  3. Add the rice and coat with all that fat, stirring well. Toast the rice for 3 more minutes, until the edges turn translucent.
  4. Increase the heat to medium and pour in the wine plus 1/2 tsp of salt if you made your own stock. Stir, and leave to evaporate, stirring a little. Skip this step, if you don’t do alcohol.
  5. Add 1 cup of the simmering stock and stir gently. You can take a break, it doesn’t need to be round and round constantly, just regular stirring while the stock evaporates.
  6. When the stock has evaporated, add half a cup more of the stock, stir, and repeat this process for 12 minutes. The rice will almost be done at this stage.
  7. Add the raw prawns and squid, plus a ladle of the stock. Stir thoroughly and well, and let the seafood cook for 2 minutes, adding a ladle of stock if necessary.
  8. Tip in the mussels and clams (not the ones in the shell), with another ladle of stock, and stir once again, to complete cooking the rice, the prawns and squid and to heat through the mussels and clams. (Leftover stock can be cooled, then frozen).
  9. Check the seasoning, add more salt if necessary, and freshly ground black pepper.
  10. Take it off the heat, stir in the last Tbsp of olive oil vigorously. Top with the mussels and clams that were still in their shell, cover, and leave to rest for 2 minutes.
  11. Garnish with some finely chopped fresh parsley and red chilli flakes, and serve.

  • Category: First or Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian