I love risotto! And to say the truth, I always order this dish in restaurants, whenever I can. That’s why I’ve never cooked it by myself.

Risotto with saffron and Black Sea mussels Recipe
Recipe Type: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Italian Cuisine
Serves: 2
  • Carnaroli rice 140 g
  • Mussels 600 g
  • Chicken stock 600 ml
  • Dry white wine 100 ml
  • Parmesan cheese 50 g
  • Butter 30 g
  • Olive oil 30 ml
  • White onion 30 g
  • Salt 1 g
  • Pepper 1 g
  1. Steam saffron in 80ml hot water.
  2. Finely chop onion and roast at medium temperature till it becomes transparent.
  3. Add rice.
  4. When the rice becomes transparent add wine and boil down.
  5. After it is boiled down add 200ml of soup and vapored saffron.
  6. Keep cooking till the soup is boiled down then repeat it 2 more times.
  7. You should continuously mix the rice so the liquid will wash the starch out and you will get the necessary rice consistency.
  8. When the last part of the soup is boiled down add grated cheese, butter and mix till the rice and butter dissolve and risotto has creamy consistency.
  9. Risotto is ready.
  10. Put the mussels into the heated bowl with heavy bottom and cover with lead for 7-10 minutes.
  11. When the mussels start opening, remove the bowl from fire.
  12. Mussels will get ready without fire then, thus they will not lose their tenderness and juiciness.
  13. Put the risotto in the middle of the plate, remove the top of the shell and put mussels around risotto.
  14. Bon appetit! I would recommend serving risotto with Sauvignon Blanc.

This summer I’ve organized a food photography workshop and invited my favourite chef Aleksey Shvets to cook several dishes for my students to shoot.

Risotto with saffron and Black Sea mussels-1

You might think that it was this way: Hey, Aleksey, what about cooking a couple of dishes?
But you’re wrong. It was much more complicated. Our choice was preconditioned by a certain task.

Risotto with saffron and Black Sea mussels-2

For example, we needed to show how a part of the interior could be used. And with this aim we created chaos on a table, while shooting tart with mascarpone cream.

There were other dishes as well, I’ll post them in due time. And this dish – risotto with saffron and mussels – was offered by Aleksey.

It has a rich texture, and mussels can be easily found in our region. And I used this dish to demonstrate two things: how to work with mixed light, thus creating atmosphere of bonfire, and how to create harmony between background and mussels, putting stones in a nice pattern. And, of course, creating contrast in that way.

I hope it doesn’t sound too complicated. No?
Then enjoy the photo and get prepared to cook this splendid dish.

Risotto with saffron and Black Sea mussels-3

Being the symbol of Milan cuisine risotto is the result of a young apprentice’s joke who painted rice yellow with saffron. Ever since saffron has been an integral feature of the real Milan risotto.