The best Italian Seafood Risotto Frutti di Mare recipe, made with shrimp, mussels, baby clams, crab, a good white wine, lots of garlic, tomatoes and an exquisite saffron seafood stock. Originally from Lombardy, the northern side of Italy, the Italian classic risotto has become a popular dish all around the world.
Don’t let the list of ingredients overwhelm you, risotto is actually so EASY to make!
Seafood Risotto Recipe (Frutti di Mare Risotto)
- 1 1/2 c Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- 8 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbs butter
- 1 small onion or leek -finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes -quartered
- 5 cloves garlic -grated
- 3/4 lb wild shrimp - cleaned and shells reserved for stock
- 1/2 lb littleneck clams or baby clams -scrubbed clean
- 1/2 lb mussels -cleaned and beards removed
- meat from 1 cooked crab leg
- 5 tbs flat leaf Italian parsley -minced
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- 1 lemon
- 1 pinch sea salt + more to taste
- 2 qt purified water
- Shells from 3/4 pounds of shrimp
- The shell from the crab leg - optional
- 1 carrot -cut into chunks
- 1 celery stalk – cut into chunks
- 8 sprigs parsley
- 2 leaves bay
- 1/4 small onion
- 10 peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- Start making the homemade seafood stock by combining all the stock ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a gentle simmer on low flame and cook for 1 hour. Remove the stock from the flame and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Stir in the saffron and allow to steep.
Make the Risotto:
- In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat up 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add the minced onion or leek with a pinch of sea salt and sweat it on low heat for about 10 minutes until translucent.
- Stir in your risotto rice and allow it to toast for a few minutes until no longer opaque.
- Add the wine to the pan and stir until almost all is absorbed, but DO NOT let the rice dry out completely.
- Continue by adding the saffron infused stock a ladle at the time, waiting for the rice to absorb it before adding more. Make sure to maintain a constant ripple and NEVER ALLOW the RICE to DRY OUT.
- Continue cooking for about 20 minutes or until the rice grains are tender but have a little bite, Al Dente. Remove from the heat while it has the consistency of thick cream and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter for a silky finish .
- About 10 minutes before your risotto is done start cooking the seafood.
- Heat up a stainless steel skillet with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium low flame.
- Pat dry the shrimp with paper towels and drizzle it with a lug of extra virgin olive oil. Season with a pinch of sea salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Mix together with the grated garlic then add it to the hot skillet.Toss it around a couple of times and only cook it for a minute or two until it curls up and turns pink. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with a little freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan you cooked the shrimp in together with a pinch of sea salt. Hit it with the 1/4 cup of the white wine.
- Using a silicone spatula make sure to scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes until the tomatoes burst and start releasing their juices to form a nice sauce with the wine.
- Add the cooked shrimp with the juices back to the pan together with the crab meat and 3 tbs of the minced parsley. Gently toss to coat and drizzle with a little more lemon juice and olive oil. Adjust seasoning to taste and set aside.
- In a different skillet heat up the remaining 2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil over medium flame and add your clams and mussels. Hit it with a splash of stock or wine and cover with a lid. Cook until they open, about 3-5 minutes and discard all the unopened ones.
- Divide your risotto between 4 plates and top each with 5 shrimps, 4 clams, 3 mussels and 2 pieces of the crab meat.
- Drizzle the entire plate with a spoon full of the tomato and wine sauce from the shrimp and crab.
- Serve the seafood risotto with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the top and some chopped parsley.