Fennel and mascarpone risotto with scallops and prosciutto
- October 2006
- 50g butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 fennel bulbs, heads finely sliced
- 300g risotto rice, such as carnaroli
- 300ml white wine
- 1.2 litres vegetable stock, hot
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 80g pack prosciutto, cut into thin strips
- 12 fresh scallops (‘diver caught’, if possible), corals detached
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
- 4 tbsp mascarpone
- Melt the butter in a large, deep frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook gently for 8 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and fennel and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until coated in butter, then add the wine and bubble for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the stock, a few ladlefuls at a time, stirring in each addition until absorbed. Keep ladling and stirring until the stock is used up and the rice is al dente but creamy – this will take about 20 minutes at a gentle simmer. Check the seasoning, cover and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan, then add the prosciutto and fry for 1 minute or until crisp. Remove with tongs and set aside. When the pan is hot, add the white parts of the scallops and season in the pan. Cook for 1 minute each side or until lightly golden, then add the corals and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Stir the parsley and mascarpone into the rice.
- To serve, divide the risotto between 4 bowls, top with the crispy prosciutto, scallops and their corals, and season with black pepper.
Scallops need minimal cooking to bring out their flavour. Cook the meaty white parts first, then just ‘show’ the corals (the funky orange bits) the pan.
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