Monday, November 27, 2006

Seaside spaghetti

My parents introduced me too seafood at a very early age. I have a clear memory of the prawn cocktail (it was the eighties) served at the hotel where we used to spend our yearly ski holidays. Sadly, as I grew older, I developped an allergy against shrimps, crab, lobster - anything that turns pink when cooked. So no more prawn cocktails for me. I comfort myself with mussels and all their friends and relations, which I can still eat. I was going to make moules marinières on saturday night but when I came to the fishmonger, they only had a handfull left and I had to change my plans. I made spaghetti with mussels and clams instead.

Seaside spaghetti (serves 2)

  • 140g spaghetti
  • 600g mussels and clams, scrubbed and debarded, rinsed under cold water
  • one tablespoon olive oil
  • half a fennel bulb, very finely sliced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • a little fresh chili, finely chopped
  • some flat-leaved parsley, chopped
  • one glass of white wine
  • a few dots of butter
  • salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry the onion over a low heat for a few minutes, then add the fennel and the chili and fry for another minute, then cover the pan and cook the fennel over a low heat until it is just done. Cook the spaghetti. Just before they are done, add the mussels to the frying pan, up the heat and add the white wine and parsley. Cover and cook for about five minutes, shaking the pan from time to time until the mussels and clams have opened. Remove from the heat, add the butter and let it melt, shaking the pan a little. Put the spaghetti into deep plates and serve topped with the mussels and clams on top. Lovely with a fruity, well chilled white wine or a light red if you (like me) are not diametrically opposed to the combination.

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