Italian seafood feast for celebrations

Italian seafood feast for celebrations

By 09/12/2013

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

Ingredients

Instructions

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.

sprats

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.

mussels and clams

Clean and wash the scallops ( you can ask your fishmonger to do that!) then prepare  them following the recipe here.

scallops

With a pair of scissors cut the langoustines underneath the belly. Heat a griddle pan until very hot then follow the recipe  here.

langoustines

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.

opening oysters

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!

       opening oysters

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

oysters dish

And now assemble the dish as you wish. Use dill, lemon wedges and cherry tomatoes for decoration.

BUON APPETITO!

fish feast prawns, clams, mussels, sprats dish seafood dish

 

seafood feast dish

I am entering this into "Made with Love Mondays" hosted by Javelin Warrior

JWsMadeWLuvMondays

 

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10 Responses to Italian seafood feast for celebrations

  1. gloria

    we love seafood Alida and this look amazing!

  2. Karen

    FABULOUS Alida, this is MY kind of meal, we LOVE seafood and this would be perfect for Christmas! Karen

    • Alida

      Thank you Karen. I am a seafood addict. I could have this every week!

  3. la cucina di Molly

    Mamma mia che piatto meraviglioso, mi è venuta fame solo a guardarlo! Adoro mangiare pesce, complimenti! Un bacione!

  4. Javelin Warrior

    Truly delightful, Alida! Access to fresh seafood is so fortunate and it makes delicious feasts like this possible. I would love to get in on a spread like this…fantastic!

  5. Louise

    Oh Alida, this meal looks so delicious it hurts:) I miss being able to get fresh fish I can’t even tell you how much. Long Island was famous for it’s Blue Point clams and oh my gosh crabs and oysters too!

    When I was a child we always had a seafood spread on Christmas Eve. I can’t remember if it was 7 different fish or 13? You probably know. Oh what I wouldn’t do to have that feast once again and to appreciate it more than I did then:)

    Thank you so much for sharing this seafood feast, Alida. I am now officially starving, lol…

    • Alida

      Yes this is a proper feast. Shellfish is so delicious! :-))

  6. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,

    What a seafood delight this post is. I just adore all of your choices of shellfish. My favorites are the scallops and the oysters…Your post is always interesting as you always show us how with a fabulous tutorial. Plus your presentation is awesome! If you served that in front of me, I would be amazed, how beautiful your arrangement is..Like a painting. A true artist! Thanks for sharing, Blessings Dottie 🙂

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