A local recipe from Lake Como: Risotto with perch fillets
Risotto with perch fillets is the national dish of Lake Como and combines local products of the lakes tradition and the regional gastronomical knowledge of cooking the risotto.
The result is a rich dish that is used in the most high-quality restaurants where simple and delicated flavours are mixed together to form a rustic and rich dish. The risotto is great if by dry, and preferably slightly acidic white wines (for example Franciacorta Bianco is a good wine of the area).
The perch is one of the most valuable species of freshwater fish because of its tender and delicate meat; it was first noted in the early Mesopotamian civilization and was then found in Roman dishes later on. Today it can be found in all lakes of Northern Italy (Lake Como, but also minor lakes like Iseo and Idro).
Often we can find in our supermarkets or fishmongers a rather large salmon-colored fish fillet that comes from Africa and more precisly from the Nile. But this has nothing to do with what we are talking about here.
The fish that we find in our supermarkets is lower in quality and keeps less than the fish that local fisherman fish daily in our lakes.
Ingredients for 4 people
- 24 Perch Fillets
- 100 gr Butter
- 2 tablespoons white flour
- 12 leaves of sage
- 500 gr rice
- 5 litres broth
- ½ cup dry white wine
Finely chop two small onions and sauté in a casserole with 40 grams of butter. Cook gently, stirring every so often to prevent sticking, until the union turns a golden straw color, then add the rice and stir and sauté until it becomes translucent stirring constantly to keep it from sticking. Then stir in the wine and let it evaporate. Then add broth to the rice for about 15/20 minutes, depending on the rice’s cooking time.
In the mean time, flour the fish fillets and sauté in a pan with 40 gr of butter and some leaves of sage, until browning. Once the rice is cooked, place the risotto into a warm platter and put the perch on top. Sauté the remaining butter with the sage, and pour onto the plate.