A shellfish feast at last, that's what I had over the weekend. And I needed it.
I truly crave for those gorgeous chubby prawns, juicy langoustines, clams and mussels, scallops au gratin...the more the better!
In Italy I always visit my favourite little local trattoria which is modest but does fab food. The owner, Loris who is specialized in seafood, can offer a meal for 30 Euros (about 41 USD or 24 British pounds), but that's not going to be JUST a meal, it is a proper feast. A fish feast.
There is no menu, he comes along and tells you what the "cuoco" is doing today which mainly depends on what is the catch of the day.
You will leave with a ridiculously full belly and with a free coffee + digestive. My favourite is liquorice liquor, dark and sweet, which seems to be quite popular in Italian restaurants.
My husband, who is 100% British bred and never used to have shellfish now has the same cravings too! This is what living with an Italian does to you. All you think about is your stomach!
During the last week I fancied shellfish so badly that I went to my local fishmongers and spent a small fortune. Naughty, but then again ... we only live once don't we?
- Prep Time : 2 hours minutes
- Cook Time : 1 hour minutes
Put the clams in cold water for at least an hour to release any sand they might retain.
Gut the sprats and cut the heads off; rinse them under the tap and put them in a colander. Cook them in the oven following the recipe here.
Clean the mussels by removing the beards and scraping them a little with a knife.
Scrape and rinse the clams removing any sand on the shells.
In a large pan stir fry 2 tbsp of olive oil and 3 garlic cloves; turn the heat on and add the mussels and the clams. Add half a glass of white wine and about 2 tbsp of chopped parsley and cook with the lid on for 5 to 8 minutes, enough for the mussels and clams to open.
Then switch the heat off. Put the top on to keep them warm whilst you prepare the rest of the fish.
Clean and wash the scallops ( you can ask your fishmonger to do that!) then prepare them following the recipe here.
With a pair of scissors cut the langoustines underneath the belly. Heat a griddle pan until very hot then follow the recipe here.
Clean the prawns and cook them in a pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil for 3 or 4 minutes until they turn pink in colour.
Open the oysters at the last minute. Carefully put the tip of the knife into the crevice and push it firmly. Then twist to separate the shells.
Now slice the knife along the top shell to cut the muscle holding the shells together. Make sure you don't lose their precious juice!
Squeeze them with lemon juice and they will be ready to eat. Ideally they should be placed on a bed of ice for maximum flavour
And now assemble the dish as you wish. Use dill, lemon wedges and cherry tomatoes for decoration.
I am entering this into "Made with Love Mondays" hosted by Javelin Warrior