Risotto with Sole and Champagne

by Hilary Gauntt on October 6, 2017

My favorite cooking classes have been taught by Nadia Frigeri, amazing Italian chef and tourguide. I remember her saying she is happiest when stirring a pot of risotto; it calms and relaxes her. So when I was needing a little comfort food and had just brought home a lovely piece of filet of sole, I went hunting for this recipe from a class years ago.

I used a pinot grigio instead of champagne, and made half the recipe. It was just a delicious as I remembered. I used the restaurant trick of preparing it part way through and then finishing off the last additions of stock and stirring when it was time to eat. Wonderful for lunch the next day as well.

4 Tbs. olive oil

4 Tbs. butter

1/2 cup chopped green onions, or leeks, or yellow onion

1 small carrot

1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped

2 Tbs. chopped parsley

1 pound fresh sole filets cut into large pieces

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cups dry champagne wine

2 cups Italian Rice Arborio

6 cups fish stock (or vegetable stock)

Melt butter with olive oil, add onion, carrot and garlic. Saute until transparent, add parsley and sole. Season with salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes. Remove and set aside. (Do not brown.) On another burner, heat the fish or vegetable stock in a saucepan.

Add rice to the pan you cooked the sole in, and stir and cook about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, and add champagne 1 cup at a time, stirring until wine is absorbed.

Begin to add one cup at a time of the fish stock, stirring until stock is absorbed. Repeat for about 15 minutes, then start tasting to check to see if the rice is tender.

About five minutes before the rice is ready, add sole and continue cooking until the rice is tender. Serve with additional chopped parsley. Cook time is about 18 minutes total. Serves 6. Can also be make with shrimp or scallops.

Note: Traditionally Italians don’t serve Parmesan with fish dishes, but I love it.

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