marisa mariella

easy mouthwatering recipes that unite your family and friends

Seafood Risotto

This recipe is really two in one. My mother-in-law makes a delicious seafood soup (riso alla marinara) for Christmas eve. I use this soup to provide both the flavourful stock and seafood for this risotto. If I'm really organized, then I make twice as much of the soup, one batch to make risotto and one batch to make the seafood soup a few days later.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
cook time for soup 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, dinner, risotto
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 entre servings


To make the seafood stock:

  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 - 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ pound shrimp shells off and deveined, defrosted if frozen
  • 2 squid tubes cleaned
  • 2 large cherrystone clams
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 6 cups of water
  • Bunch parsley stems
  • 4 San Marzano tomatoes canned, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper

To make the risotto:

  • 4 to 5 shallots peeled and chopped
  • cups uncooked Arborio rice do not rinse
  • ¼ tsp hot pepper flakes optional
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 6 cups homemade seafood stock
  • 4 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tbsp butter optional
  • Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated optional
  • Drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  • Prepare the seafood:
  • Fresh clams have no fishy aroma but they do contain grit and sand. Scrub them under cool running water using a stiff kitchen brush. Place clams in a bowl and allow tap water to run over them for about 10 minutes. Lift the clams from the bowl and place in a small dry pan on high heat with a lid. (Discard the water). Within a few minutes, the clams will steam and open. At this point, gently lift them from the pan and set aside. (If clam does not open, discard the clam). Pour the liquid (clam liqour) from the pan into a measuring cup to allow the grit and sand to settle. Leave undisturbed as you continue with the recipe. Once the clams are cool enough to handle, work above a bowl to scrape the flesh out of the shell, capturing the liquid (liquor) in the bowl. Pour this liquor to the measuring cup with the other liquor from steaming. Rinse the clam flesh well and chop finely. Set aside.
  • Chop shrimp and squid in bite-size pieces. (You may wish to leave a few shrimp whole to decorate individual servings.) Set aside.
  • Add oil to a medium heavy-bottom pot. Place on medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until garlic becomes fragrant. Do not brown.
  • Add the seafood (except for the whole shrimp, if using) and stir for a few minutes. Add the wine, water, chopped tomatoes, and parsley stems. Season with salt (about 1 tbsp) and black pepper. Bing to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Slowly add the clam liquid, making sure to leave the grit and sand on the bottom of the measuring cup. Simmer for about 40 minutes. Taste the broth and adjust seasonings. It should be flavourful. (This step can be done earlier in the day or refrigerated.)
  • Once you are ready to make the risotto, remove and discard the parsley stems. Strain the stock and set the seafood aside. If refrigerated, slowly bring the stock to a simmer.

Prepare the risotto:

  • Heat the oil in a heavy wide pan on medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook gently for 5 mins or until soft, not browned, stirring often. Add hot pepper flakes, if using. Add rice and stir continuously for a few minutes until it turns glossy and cream-coloured. This step is very important.
  • Stir in wine and stir. Reduce heat slightly to simmer gently. Once evaporated, add seafood stock, two or three ladles at a time, stirring between each addition. The stock will absorb within 5 to 7 minutes. Continue this cycle of adding stock, stirring, simmering for about 3 to 4 cycles.
  • Taste the rice for doneness. It should be creamy with a slight bite. Add the whole shrimp, if using. Stir to cook. They will turn peach coloured and begin to curl slightly).
  • Add the cooked seafood. Add butter if using. Add the parsley and stir to incorporate well. Add one last ladle to moisten and stir. Taste for seasonings. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve immediately.