Fifteen’s Cornish Seaside Risotto with Chilli & Fennel Seed Pangrattato Recipe

140902_005_SeasfoodRisotto LR

Makes 4 good-sized portions


3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion (finely chopped)
100g finely chopped fennel
2 sticks of celery (approx. 100g), finely chopped
½ tsp crushed dried chillies (optional)
300g risotto rice
100ml white wine
1.5 litres good fish stock (we use a lobster stock)
600g mixed fish – monkfish, sea bass and brill (or whatever is in season, such as pollock and hake), cut into bite-sized pieces
500g shellfish – mussels, cockles, clams or a mix of all three (use whichever shellfish is available)
25 – 100g butter (depending on taste – we like ours creamy so add lots of butter!)
Good handful of flat leaf parsley (finely chopped stalks and chopped leaves)
1 unwaxed lemon (finely grated zest and juice)

For the pangrattato:
½ tsp fennel seeds
¼ tsp crushed dried chillies
2 tbsp olive oil
75g ciabatta bread (torn into small bits)


For the pangrattato, heat a small, dry frying pan over a high heat. Lower the heat, add the fennel seeds and crushed dried chillies (optional) and toast them for no more than 30 seconds. Tip them into a mortar and roughly crush with the pestle.

In the same pan, add the olive oil and torn bread and fry until the bread is golden brown and crispy. Add it to mortar, leave to cool, then smash together into a coarse, crumbly mixture. Season lightly with a little salt.

For the risotto, heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, fennel, celery and dried chilli and sweat gently for about 10 minutes until very soft (but do not let it brown!). Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil in another pan. Keep it hot over a low heat.

Add the risotto rice to the vegetables and fry gently for about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer gently, stirring, until it has been absorbed by the rice.

Now start adding your hot stock, one ladle at a time, stirring and waiting until it has been
fully absorbed before adding the next ladle. This can take up to 20 minutes. The colour of your stock will determine the colour of the finished dish.

Meanwhile, pre-cook your shellfish on another ring. Heat a large dry pan with a lid over a high heat. Add the shellfish and a good splash of water, quickly cover with the lid and steam them for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan now and then, until they have all opened. Drain in a colander and when cool enough to handle, remove the meats from half the shells and use as part of your seafood mix. Leave the other half in their shells and set to one side for a garnish.

Finally add your fish. You should do this as the final stage when you know your risotto is cooked and the rice is just tender. It should only take about 5 minutes for the fish to cook though. You want it to stay chunky and not flake too much, so once you add it, keep your stirring to a minimum.

Stir in the cooked shelled shellfish, butter, parsley and lemon zest with a little lemon juice to taste and salt and pepper. Garnish with the shellfish in the shell, sprinkle with the pangrattato, and enjoy!

NOTE: Risotto is only ever as good as the stock that you use to make it with, so this is a vital ingredient. There are some seriously good shop bought ones available now.


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