400g/14oz live mussels
50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled, finely chopped
250g/8¾oz arborio rice
110ml/4fl oz dry white wine
1 litre/2 pints hot chicken stock
200g/7¼oz podded fresh peas
3 tbsp mascarpone
25g/1oz parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram
110ml/4fl oz white wine
2 tbsp pea shoots
For the pea purée, heat the butter in a pan and gently fry the shallots for 1-2 minutes, or until softened. Cook the peas in a pan of boiling salted water for 30 seconds, drain and tip into a bowl of iced cold water. Drain the peas again and add them to the shallots and warm through gently. Stir in the cream and mint and cook for a further minute.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add a squeeze of lemon juice.
For the mussel risotto, clean and debeard the mussels. If any mussels are opened, tap them lightly on a hard surface. If they don't close, discard them.
Melt the butter in a large pan until foaming, then fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.
Add the rice and stir well to coat in the butter. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes, or until the rice is translucent. Add the wine and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until nearly all of the liquid has been absorbed.
Add the pea purée and stir. Meanwhile, keep the chicken stock hot in a pan set over a low heat.
Add a ladleful of the chicken stock to the rice and stir well. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until nearly all of the stock has been absorbed, then stir in another ladleful of the stock. Repeat the process until the rice is cooked but still retains a little bite. (You may not need all of the stock.)
Meanwhile, heat a large lidded saucepan and add the prepared mussels followed by the white wine, place a lid on and steam for 2-3 minutes - the mussels are cooked when they've opened up; be sure to discard any that don't open. Remove the meat from the shells of three-quarters of the mussels.
Stir the picked mussels through the risotto, setting aside the remainder for garnish. Add the peas and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and parmesan until the cheese has melted and the rice has a creamy texture. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Sprinkle over most of the marjoram and serve the risotto in bowls topped with the reserved whole mussel, the rest of the chopped marjoram and the pea shoots.
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James is joined by world-class chefs Claude Bosi, Daniel Clifford and Elena Arzak.
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