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    Squid, Ham and Pea Risotto

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    Squid, Ham and Pea Risotto

    As the Portuguese well know, pork and shellfish go strangely well together – think cataplana, a stew of clams and pork belly. For this elegant risotto, use homemade fish stock if you have it, though stock made from vegetable bouillon powder is a decent substitute.

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes to 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 25 minutes to 30 minutes
    • Total time: 35 minutes to 45 minutes 45 minutes

    Serves: 6 as a starter


    • 1 litre Fish stock (or 2 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder dissolved in 1 litre water)
    • 100g Unsalted butter
    • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 Shallot, finely chopped
    • 1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 1 Celery stick, finely diced
    • 300g Carnaroli rice
    • 150ml Dry white wine
    • 125g Frozen peas, defrosted and at room temperature
    • 250g Squid, cut into short, thin strips
    • 100g Ham or gammon, in 2cm dice
    • 3 tbsp Chopped parsley


    1. Bring the fish or vegetable stock to the boil, then reduce the heat until it maintains a steady simmer - this is really important.
    2. Place a deep, wide saucepan over a medium heat and, when it is hot, add half the butter and the olive oil. Add the shallot, garlic and celery and fry, stirring frequently, for 3–4 minutes. Tip in the rice and stir for scarcely a minute, coating all the grains of rice in the fat. Turn up the heat a bit, then pour in the wine and stir the mixture vigorously until the fluid is absorbed.
    3. Immediately start ladling in the hot stock. Add 1 or 2 ladlefuls at a time, so that there is just enough liquid to bathe the rice but not drown it. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring almost constantly and adding more stock as it gets absorbed. Be prepared to adjust the heat if necessary, so everything trots along at a strong simmer. Stir in the peas, squid, ham, a little salt and plenty of ground black pepper. Continue stirring and cooking for another 3–4 minutes, then start tasting. By now the grains of rice should be tender - neither gritty nor soggy - and your risotto should have a wettish, porridge-like consistency. Carnaroli rice takes about 25 minutes to cook.
    4. When the risotto seems ready, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and a final ladleful of stock. Leave to one side for 5 minutes - like a good roast, risotto is much the better for being allowed to rest a little. Just before you serve it, check the seasoning and, if necessary, loosen the risotto with a little hot stock (or boiling water if you’ve run out). Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

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    Drinks recommendation

    The mineral depths in this brilliant single-vineyard soave not only engage with this robustly flavoured risotto, but may well make you think about soave in a completely new way.


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