Risotto de la "Visilia"
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Clifford A. Wright
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • ⅔ cup dried borlotti, pinto, or Roman (about 6 ounces) beans, picked over, soaked in water to cover for several hours, and drained
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, very finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 pound common eel (Anguilla anguilla), skinned and cut into 1-inch pieces (see above for substitutes)
  • ¾ pound firm fish fillets (such as redfish, wolffish, red snapper, goby, whiting, perch, or scup)
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1½ cups short grain rice, such as Arborio
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. Put the drained beans in a medium-size saucepan and cover by several inches with lightly salted cold water. Cook the beans over medium heat until soft but not breaking apart, about 1½ hours, but check before that time. Pass half the beans through a food mill or pulse in short bursts in a food processor in and reserve. Set aside the remaining beans.
  2. In a large casserole or heavy saucepan, melt half the butter, then cook the onion, celery, and carrot over a medium heat for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, eel, fish, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the fish can flake easily, about 30 minutes (but don't flake the fish; keep them whole; depending on the fish you choose, some fish may be done in 12 minutes, so check).
  3. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer and return 1 quart of it to the casserole or saucepan. Reserve extra broth if needed later. Stir in the pureed beans and mix well. Remove the fish and eel from the strainer and reserve, keeping warm, to serve as a second course.
Recipe by Cook-Coquus at https://cook-coquus.com/2016/christmas-eve-risotto-from-venice/