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Risotto with Peoci (Risotto with Mussels)

Risotto with Peoci alla Veneta

Risotto with Mussels "Veneto" style

Here is a tasty, simple recipe that will remind you of the Mediterranean and its special flavors of garlic and seafood. You can use this sauce, especially if you add some tomatoes, with all kinds of grains and pastas!

This recipe is for 4-6 people:

2 cups of Arborio rice
4 tbsp. olive oil

2 lbs mussels
4 cloves garlic
6 tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped
4 cups fish bouillon or more if needed
1/2 a cup of dry white wine (optional)

Salt and fresh ground pepper

Wash the mussels, scrub them and trim off their ‘beards’ if necessary. Put them in a large pot in which you have browned 2 garlic cloves in 2 tbsp. of olive oil with the 1/2 cup of white wine or some water. Cook tightly covered over brisk heat until the shells open (usually a few minutes). Drain the mussels and catch the liquid as you will use it later. Extract the mussels from the shells and strain the liquid through a sieve.

Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil and 2 tbsp butter with the other 2 garlic cloves and the chopped onion in a heavy pot over a medium flame. When the mixture turns golden, remove the garlic and add the rice, season lightly with salt and pepper and stir for two minutes until the rice is well coated with oil and butter. Add the hot mussel liquid, stir and cook for about 20 minutes over a brisk flame, making sure the rice is absorbing the liquid. Keep adding the fish bouillon as the rice cooks (usually keeping the rice under liquid is a good idea until it starts to taste like it is cooked). Just before the ‘al dente’ stage is reached, fold in the mussels and complete the cooking for a couple more minutes, but do not overcook!

Remove the pot from theheat and add the rest of the butter, divided in small pieces. Let the risotto rest a few minutes and serve!

Buon appetito!


Risotto with mussels from Veneto, a specialty of Venice and where the 2009 Giro d'Italia starts