1.5 kg of mussels (cozze)
150 ml of white wine – (dry like chardonnay, the cheap and cheerful is absolutely fine as you are eliminating all the flavours to avoid any acidity)
6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (olio extra vergine d’oliva)
1 litre of home made stock (brodo), hot
1 celery (sedano) stalk including leaves, finely chopped
1 garlic (aglio) clove, finely chopped
1 medium onion (cipolla) finely chopped
300 g of carnaroli or vialone nano risotto rice
6 tbsp of chopped parsley (prezzemolo)
• Clean the mussels by washing them and rubbing removing any of the beard.
• If any mussels are open discard it now.
• In a frying pan place the wine (vino) and add the mussels. Cook over a high heat until mussels are open – about 3 to 4 minutes.
• Remove the mussels from the heat and discard the shells keeping the meat on the side. You can also leave some mussels with the shells on for decoration.
• If any mussels remain closed (chiuso), do discard it.
• Sieve the liquid of the mussels using a muslin or cloth so you are sure not to get any sand (sabbia) left from the mussels.
• In a large heavy bottom pot place the onion with the olive oil and bring it to the heat.
• Add now the garlic and the celery including the leaves. Sautee for a minute or so.
• Add the rice and toast it well, turning it to coat properly until you see the colour of the rice getting translucent (about 2 minutes)
• Add now the mussels liquid. Let the rice absorb it.
• Start now to add a ladleful (mestolo) of stock at a time. You may need to turn the heat down but remember the rice has to be kept with the boiling temperature. Check for salt (sale) and pepper (pepe). Keep stirring, from time to time and keep adding more and more stock until the rice is al dente – about 20 minutes.
• Once the rice is done remove the rice from the heat and add the mussels. Add a nice spoon of butter and the chopped parsley, some extra black pepper.
• Serve immediately.
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