In Spring, Italians love strolling by the beautiful seashores close to their towns to soak in those first rays of warm sunshine. This year, however, we are all locked inside our homes because of Covid-19. Do you think we spend the long boring days watching tv or washing our cars? Reading books? Or, heaven forbid, exercising? No! We are cooking and preparing the most delectable meals.
Even if I’m not the ‘MasterChef’ of my family (my father, mother, and in particular, my
grandmothers were wonderful cooks), I know how to survive in difficult times like these.
So thinking about the seaside and the warm sunshine, I’d like to share with you a simple, but very tasty dish of pasta with seafood: Pasta allo scoglio with mussels and clams. Scoglio are the rocks in the sea. When you mix the seafood sauce with the spaghetti, the shells hit against each other making a sound reminiscent of seashells hitting rocks in the sea as they are washed up by the waves.
Ingredients for four people:
- 250 grams good quality spaghetti
- 500 grams combined fresh clams and mussels
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Parsley, chopped
- Small tomato, sectioned in four
- Chili pepper, crushed
- Half-glass best quality olive oil (Lucca olive oil, of course!)
After washing the seashells under running water, put them inside a pan, cover with the lid and place over medium heat.
After a few moments, all the mussels and clams will open up and you will see their natural juice in the pan. Remove the mussels and clams from the shells, leaving a few with the shells in order to hear them ‘hit’ against each other.
In the meantime, bring a pot of abundant salted water to a boil.
For the sauce, add the minced garlic, the small tomato cut in four, a small crushed chili pepper, chopped parsley and a half-glass of olive oil to the shelled seafood in the pan.
Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
When the water is boiling, add the pasta and WARNING!
Drain the pasta 2-3 minutes before the cooking time printed on the package and save some of the cooking water!
Add the pasta to the sauce in the pan with a couple of ladles (3 or 4 tablespoons) of the cooking water. The cooking water is the secret to a creamy pasta!
Mix everything together thoroughly while cooking.
Serve it warm and … enjoy!