A simple risotto topped with clams and lightly pickled fennel.
Wash the fennel, cut in half and remove the tough core. Thinly slice the fennel and then mix with the sugar, vinegar and fennel seeds. Leave to marinate while you prepare the risotto.
Peel and finely dice the onion and the garlic. Sweat them in half of the butter until soft. Add the rice and fry in the butter for a couple of minutes before adding the white. Stir until all of the liquid has been absorbed and then start adding the stock a ladleful at a time. Allow each addition of stock to be absorbed before adding more and stir throughout the whole cooking process. The rice should be soft with a firm centre after about 20 minutes.
Wash the clams thoroughly and then place in a pan with hot oil. Add a splash of white wine, cover and cook for 5 minutes until they start to open. Drain the cooking liquid from this pan and fold into the risotto with the remaining butter.
Place a pile of risotto in the center of a bowl place some clams on top and garnish with the pickled fennel.
«If available, try using razor clams for this recipe. It also works well with mussels.»