1 to 1.25 pounds of frozen or fresh mixed seafood or shrimp*
4 cups water
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, not sweet, diced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
freshly ground salt and pepper
2 lemons, washed, dried, and zested
1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Pecorino cheese, freshly grated, optional
*Both Whole Foods and Trader Joe's sell one-pound bags of mixed seafood. If you are using frozen seafood, defrost it in it's original plastic pouch or in a Ziploc bag in a bowl of warm but not hot water for 60-90 minutes. If the water has turned cold before the fish is fully defrosted, pour it out and fill the bowl with warm water. If you are using fresh seafood, especially shrimp, prepare it by deveining it and cleaning it.
Place the seafood, any liquid that has accumulated in the plastic bag the seafood was defrosted in, and the water in a 3-quart or larger pot and heat to a boil on the back burner of the stove. Once it comes to a simmer or a boil, check the seafood for doneness. Shrimp, depending the variety, should be pink and firm. Scallops should be firm but not hard. Using a slotted spoon remove the seafood from the pot to a bowl and set aside. Cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat to low. This is the seafood stock you will use.
Place a Dutch oven or 4-quart or larger pot on the burner in front of the pot holding the seafood stock. Heat the olive oil over medium-low. Add the onion and a 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sauté the onion until translucent. Add the rice and stir to combine, ensuring the rice is coated with the olive oil. Stir the rice for one minute to toast it. Add the wine. Stir until the rice has absorbed the wine and pot is looking a little dry. Add one to two ladles of seafood stock to the rice. Stir frequently until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Again, add one to two ladles of seafood stock. Stir frequently until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Keep repeating this process until the rice is cooked. You will know it is done when the risotto looks creamy, not dry, and the rice is still a bit firm, not mushy. This whole process will take about 20-25 minutes.
Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat to low. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cooked seafood, the lemon zest, and the parsley. Cook just until all ingredients are heated through. Quarter one of the lemons you zested. Serve the risotto in bowls with a lemon wedge for squeezing over the risotto. If you serve it with cheese, and an Italian never would do this, sprinkle freshly grated Pecorino over the risotto to taste. Enjoy!