Friday, March 12, 2010

Something delicious from the sea....

I had a bit of a seafood craving earlier in the week and wanted something hearty, easy to make and full of gorgeous delights from the sea. This dish fits the bill perfectly. It is very rustic and simple and only requires about as much time as it takes to cook some spaghetti. I threw in a few handfulls of fresh rocket at the end, which is delicious when it wilts and absorbs all the flavours of the seafood and the garlicky, lemony goodness. Yum! Use whatever seafood takes your fancy - I went for salmon, mussels, prawns and scallops this time. I have also made versions which included clams, calamari and balmain bug tails. Just visit your fishmonger and see what's good.

This pasta makes a great shared dinner party dish - just do a large bowl of it, add a big mixed leaf salad, some good crusty bread and a few bottles of red and your guests will love you forever. Bear in mind that it is not a dish you can make ahead - it needs to go straight from the stove to the table - but then, it is so fast and easy to do, you will only be away from your guests for a few minutes to throw it all together. Enjoy!

Seafood Pasta with lemon, capers and wilted rocket

You will need: 1 cup raw seafood per person (I used a mixture of prawns, scallops, salmon), 2-4 mussels per person, 1 large chopped red onion, -2 red chillis, finely chopped,1 tablespoon capers (I use the salted baby ones, soaked in water for a few minutes and drained. If you are using the big ones, chop them roughly for use), 1 or 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, a few handfuls of rocket  leaves, grated rind of a lemon, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, a splash of olive oil, a tablespoon salted butter, pepper to taste, 70-80g dry spaghetti or fetucchini per person.

Method: Put your water on to boil for your pasta, making sure you salt the water well.

Now, to the sauce. Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan and sautee the onion, chilli and garlic for about 5 mins. Add the seafood, except for the scallops and mussels. Cook for about 5 minutes. By now your pasta water will be boiling, so add your pasta to cook while you finish the sauce. Give it a stir so that it doesn't stick together.

Add the capers, mussels and scallops to the seafood mixture in the pan. Cover with a lid and allow to cook until the mussels open. Discard any that don't.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the seafood, along with the lemon rind, lemon juice, butter. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if you need to. Serve right away.


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