Monday, 13 June 2011

Linguine Nero Di Sepia con Gamberoni & Capesante

Black squid ink linguine with king prawns & scallops

It was our 7th wedding anniversary on Sunday so a celebratory meal was in order.  My hubby decided to continue with his latest desire to master the Italian cuisine.  It’s very fitting he should choose this particular dish which is so reminiscent of the wonderful times we have spent in Sicily eating fresh seafood, but more so as it was on this day 7 years ago that we tied the knot with the beautiful mountainous countryside of Sicily and our backdrop as we feasted on a 7 course meal which includes some of the best seafood we have ever tasted.

A bit about the produce:
When DH decides to do something, he does it to perfection so it is no surprise that he selected one of Italy’s finest variety of tomato to use in his fresh pasta sauce, the datterini.  These sweet, almost grape like tomatoes are available from Italian importers but do not come cheap at around £9 a kilo.  To get the most from this speciality tomato, he scored, blanched and peeled each baby plum tomato to create a wonderful sauce.  This was an afternoon’s work on its own!  Any good ripe, vine tomato would suffice if you do not have the inclination to use the datterini, however you can source them from Natoora

The fish was purchased from our favourite fishmonger; Chelsea Fishmongers in Guildford.  You can be guaranteed that what you find here has not been farmed or preserved in a warehouse only to reach our plates 3 weeks later.  The fish here is the freshest, often line caught or wild and off the boat within the last 48 hours.

The last ingredient that needs a special mention is the wonderful Linguine Nero di Sepia.  This black pasta gains its colour from squid ink which is of course, black. The injection of colour also adds as a flavour enhancer, making it the perfect accompaniment to seafood.  You can find squid ink pasta in specialist Italian delis such as Camisa

You’ll need for 2 adults:
  • 150 – 200g linguine nero di sepia
  • 500g datterini tomatoes, skinned and crushed, juice discarded
  • 20g parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 8 king prawns, middle legs removed and middle peeled.  Head and tail not removed
  • 6 large scallops, cut into 2 or 3
  • ½ red chilli finely chopped.  Seeds added or not – to your liking
  • Seasoning

What to do:
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and add the garlic and chilli.  Fry gently for about 30 seconds.  Add the prawns and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until they start to go lightly pink.  Remove to a plate.

Add the tomatoes and parsley and cook for around 7 minutes on a medium heat.  Add the wine and allow to evaporate for a minute or two.   Add the prawns back in and add the scallops too.  Season using plenty of black pepper and salt to your taste.

Drain the pasta and retain some of the cooking water.  Add to the sauce.  Toss together and serve.  Add some of the pasta water if you need to loosen the sauce at all.

When eating, you can remove the prawn heads and let all the wonderful juice from the head fall into the plate to add even more flavour and depth to this most delicious dish.

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