Member recipe

Crab, lemon, fennel and chilli risotto

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Cooking time

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 45 minutes

Skill level

More effort


Serves 4

Risotto can go one of two ways: horribly wrong or oh so right. If it's wrong, it's gluey, under or overcooked and dry. Done well, it's oozy, gooey and decadent.

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  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400g arborio rice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1 bulb fennel, finely chopped, fronds reserved
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 red chilli
  • 200g crab meat
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 15g pecorino cheese


  1. Heat the stock in a saucepan. In a separate pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil, then add the onion and fennel (not the fronds). Fry for about 8 minutes until they are soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Add the wine and simmer for a further five minutes.

  2. Add the rice and stir well until it has absorbed the wine a little and has begun to become translucent. Add the stock to the rice a ladle at a time, stirring and waiting until it has been fully absorbed before adding the next. Turn the heat down to low so the rice doesn't cook too quickly, otherwise the outside of each grain will be stodgy and the inside hard and nutty. Continue to add ladlefuls of stock until it has all be absorbed. This should take about 14 to 15 minutes and give you rice that is beginning to soften but is still a little al dente.

  3. Zest the lemon and add half to the risotto, reserving a little for the garnish. Squeeze the juice of the lemon in adding the crab, chilli and pecorino. Stir well. Add a good crack of black pepper and salt to taste.

  4. To serve, ladle into bowls and top with the fennel fronds, lemon zest, a sprinkling of pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil.

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