Vongole

P1000323

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

The Ingredients: for 4 persons

  • 500 g spaghetti
  • 1 kg clams or cockles
  • olive oil
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 small dried chilli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • salt & pepper

The work:

Make sure your shells are clean. Rinse as many times as you have to, to get them clean. Cut the shallots and grate or press the garlic. Cut the parsley.

Heat a pot of water with salt to boil the spaghetti and cook the spaghetti al dente.

Heat about a half a cup of olive oil in a pan and gently simmer the garlic, shallots and the pulverised chilli in it until tender. If your spaghetti is not ready yet, then take the pan of the heat until about 5 minutes before the pasta is ready.

Add the clams to the pan with the olive oil and shallots and heat until all shells are open. Put the lid on so you steam the shells to open them.

When the pasta is ready, take it out of the cooking water with kitchen tweezers and add it to the pan with the clams. Add parsley and mix everything gently. Serve is a deep dish.

The tip:

P1000315The golden advice is to rinse rinse rinse rinse… and rinse the shells until no sand or dirt is in the water anymore. Hateful it is when you are enjoying these delicacies from the seas and hear the sand grind between your teeth.

Don’t be dispirited if you have difficulties finding clams or cockles, you can surely find some shells to replace them, even mussels will work great.

Olive oils can have a very distinct taste. Taste your olive oil(s) beforehand to see if its taste is not too dominating, since you are using a lot of it in this recipe it can really start defining the dish’s taste.

The secret:

P1000318Less is more! Keep it simple, it will make everything better.

Our secret ingredient is the small dried chilli which we add to give the dish more pit.

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Scampi “Diabolo”

DSC00208

Aka spicy prawns

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

The ingredients for 2 persons:

  • 8-10 scampi (prawns, langoustines)
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 250 ml cream
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-1,5 fresh chili peppers
  • 0,5 cubes fish broth
  • tomato paste
  • oil
  • pepper and salt

The work:

Cut the shallots, garlic and peppers very small and braise them in some oil. Add a glass of white wine and let this boil down a bit.
Add the fish broth and a bit of water. Let sauce reduce.
Add the cream and let reduce some more.
Season with salt and pepper and add a small bit of tomato paste to colour the sauce orange.
Peel the scampi’s and remove the intestines (=black thread in the length of the scampi). Bake the scampi in some oil in a separate pan. The baking time is very short, make sure you don’t leave them too long, or they will become hard and chewy. Add the scampi to the sauce and you’re ready to serve.

The tip:

Chili peppers are unpredictable in their spiciness. Be careful not to overdo, certainly if you double the recipe to for instance 4 people.

Served with fresh French bread this is one of our favourite Sunday evening dishes in front of the telly. Some last hours of quality time together before everyone leaves again for a week on early Monday.