Risotto with Tub Gurnard – Risotto alla Gallinella


Do you know the tub gurnard? In Italian we call it gallinella, and traditionally it’s one of those fish used to make many delicious fish soups, but its fillet it’s also very good and it can be used in many ways.

In the past, like all the fish “for soups”, it was quite a poor fish, but nowadays not really 😀 especially if you live in a country without sea.

One of the good ways to use it is in the risotto, also because we can use the bones and the had to prepare a very good “fumetto“, the fish stock, that we use for the recipe.

Let’s see.


INGREDIENTS (2 people):

  • 160 g rice (Carnaroli or Vialone Nano I suggest)
  • 1 tub gurnard of about 500 g
  • 1 small onion
  • 40 g butter
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • freshly chopped parsley
  • lemon zest, untreated

For the stock:

  • the bones and head of the fish
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery rib
  • 2-3 small tomatoes (or a little bit of tomato concentrate, just for the color)
  • some pepper grains
  • half glass of dry white wine
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt


  1. First of all clean the tub gurnard: make the fillets and keep aside (in the fridge), then cut the central bone in 2-3 pieces and cut the head in half, and remove the eyes (otherwise they will release a not nice color). For the fillet I keep just the half with the tail, the central part I carefully remove the bones and the skin and I cut into small cubes, I will cook in the rice.
  2. Take a pot, heat a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and add the fish bones and the head, then add also the white wine and keep the heat high until reduced. Then add the vegetables and the pepper grains and cover with about 1 liter water, then bring it almost to the boil and then set the heat very low: it must not do bubbles but just “smoking” (that’s why we call it “fumetto”, from “fumo” that means smoke, so fumetto is “little smoke”), ideally around 90 °C. Let it go for at least 40-45 minutes, then filter it.
  3. Now cut the onion very small (not larger than the rice grains) and let it simmer in a small pan with 20 grams of butter, until soft.
  4. Meanwhile take another cocotte/pot and toast the rice at high heat, with no fats. We have to toast it for a couple of minutes, keep it moved with a wooden spoon (or simply make it “jump” by moving the pot) every 20-30 seconds and when you cannot no more touch the rice with your hands and you see that the grains have become a bit shiny/transparent then it’s toasted. This is the moment to add the white wine, keep the heat higher until the wine has reduced. Start counting the time from now, in 15-16 minutes a Carnaroli rice will be ready, read the package too.
  5. When the alcohol has gone add a ladle of hot fish stock, and the onions with the butter. Keep cooking at medium heat, and keep adding the hot fish stock when it’s needed.risotto_gallinella_4
  6. After the first 5 minutes add also the cubes of half fillets, and in another pan start cooking the whole pieces of fillets, simply with a little drizzle of oil and with a small cover exactly on the fillets, season also with some salt (I also put some flour just on the skin). In 7-8 minutes they should be ready, then keep it aside.risotto_gallinella_3
  7. When the rice is ready, add the remaining butter, mix gently, and let it rest a couple of minutes. Meanwhile cut the parsley.
  8. Add the parsley and grate the lemon zest.
  9. Serve it, place the fillets in the middle, and enjoy it 🙂

PS: if you want to use also another pot 😀 you could also fry the fillet, and serve it crunchy 🙂 and also adding some chopped unsalted pistachio at the end will add an extra nice texture to the bite.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Im so hungry now!! The risotto looks amazing with that fish!

    Liked by 1 person

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