Mussel and Tomato Baked Risotto
Mussels are one of the cheapest ingredients from the sea that you can get hold of. You get loads for your money and can do so much with them. Baked, stir-fried, braised or boiled, they can be used to make a welcome dish on just about any seafood lover’s table minus the hefty price tag. I love this dish and cook it often. It’s a really good way of cooking a Risotto without the need for all that stirring.
Total 1 hour
Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 45–50 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or sliced
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika (or any paprika you have)
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs or oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
300g risotto rice or paella rice
100ml white wine
1kg cleaned live mussels
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes or tinned cherry tomatoes
600ml fish, chicken or vegetable stock
To serve (optional)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
flatleaf parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF/Gas 4). Place a casserole or sauté dish (preferably one with a lid) on the stove and add the oil. Set the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic and chilli flakes. Cook for a few 3–5 minutes before adding the paprika and dried herbs. Season with salt and pepper before adding the rice. Coat the rice well in all the spices, then add the wine.
Cook for 3–5 minutes to allow the wine to reduce by half before adding the mussels (if you are using frozen seafood (see tip, below), don’t add this yet), tomato purée, tinned tomatoes and all of the stock. Bring to the boil, place a lid on top and transfer to the oven for 35 minutes. (If you don’t have a lid to your pan, cover tightly with kitchen foil.) Check on the risotto halfway through cooking as you may need to add a splash more stock. If you are using frozen seafood, add it at this point.
The dish is ready when the rice is soft and all the mussels have opened. Remove from the oven and serve with a wedge of lemon and sprinkling of parsley if you so wish.
TIP If you can’t get hold of live mussels, try this recipe with a frozen seafood mix, which is also very tasty.
Pictures all by the very talented Jemma Watts.