Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pasta al fumetto pomodoro basilico

Whenever I have seafood pasta, I always prefer it without tomato. I find that the tomato taste tends to be quite dominant, therefore I usually opt for olive oil based condiments to let the seafood taste emerge gracefully. I came up with this recipe to revisit the idea of seafood pasta and how it can combine with a subtle version of the classic Italian tomato flavour.

The starting point is a "fumetto di pesce", which you will need to make from:
  • fish heads and bones
  • butter
  • leeks
  • celery
  • onions
  • button mushrooms
  • white wine
  • "mazzetto aromatico" of various herbs
  • peppercorns
  • a slice of lemon
Fry the vegetables with the butter until golden and add heads and bones. When the heat is back up and the bones are coloured, add the white wine and evaporate quickly. Reduce and then top up with cold weater covering all the contents of the pan. Add the herbs and reduce at low heat for about half an hour. Add the slice of lemon 5 minutes before removing from the heat, then filter with a colander and set aside.
I usually prepare the fumetto in advance and freeze a few bags of it for later use.

To make the sauce, you will need:
  • A couple of tomatoes
  • 30g of basil
  • 200ml of fumetto di pesce
  • 2 egg whites
Bring the fumetto to a boil and add the chopped tomatoes and basil. Reduce gently for about 15 minutes, then add the whites into the mixture to clarify it. Let the whites aggregate the ingredients (let it boil gently for a minute or so), then remove from the heat and pass through a fine colander.

On a separate frying pan, pour some olive oil and fry the scallops, gently coated with salt, pepper and corn starch. Remove the scallops, add a couple of cloves of garlic slightly squashed and optional chilly flakes. Add the filtered stock and finally the linguine, which you will have removed from the boil 2 minutes earlier than the optimal cooking time. Complete the cooking of the linguine into the stock, then remove from the heat, add a dash of olive oil and let sit covered for 30 seconds.

Serve the linguine with the scallops and topped with fresh chopped parsley and a sprinkle of bottarga di muggine (grey mullet bottarga).

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