To celebrate, this weekend we re-made a dish that was actually the inaugural post of this blog - frutti di mare. We made it a bit more special by using fettucine neri (squid ink fettucine) and fresh local seafood. Herbie loves fresh local seafood. More importantly though, we got Herbie something very special... a brother!
|Everyone, meet Pepper!|
|Welcome home Pepper!|
|Please can Pepper come out and play??|
After the third day, we let them meet each other briefly and they wrestled around happily with no hissing, growling, or howling! Even though Pepper is half Herbie's size, he didn't run away from Herbie and held his own pretty well. After their first meeting, Herbie was exhausted and slept like a baby throughout the night. Success!
|Herbie, tired, but still interested in his new friend behind the door.|
We'll keep you all up to date on their continued introduction and you can expect to see more of Pepper on the blog.
Now onto the food...
Making the Dish
What You'll Need
1/2 lb fresh squid ink pasta
6 large fresh shrimp
6 diver scallops
2 tubes calamari
6 fresh littleneck clams
6 fresh mussels
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove chopped garlic
2 cups tomato sauce
3/4 cup good white wine
1/4 cup budding chives (optional)
Frutti di mare is an extremely easy meal to make, and has very few ingredients. As such, the better the ingredients, the better the final dish will be. You'll want the best tomato sauce you can find or make, a very nice, flavorful white wine, and fresh, tasty seafood.
For this dish, we used mussels, little neck clams, diver scallops, shrimp, and calamari, a pretty classic combination of seafood for this dish. Start off by rinsing off your mollusks and slicing up the calamari into little rings.
In a large pot, sauté some chopped garlic and a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes in a tablespoon of olive oil. Place the mussels and clams into the pot (they'll start to crackle as the water evaporates from the shell), and then into the pot add in 3/4 cup of good white wine.
You'll need to do this all quickly, before the garlic starts to burn. The wine will immediately start to boil and evaporate, so cover the pot quickly. Let the clams and mussels steam in the pot for about 5 - 7 minutes, until all of the shells have fully opened. This will give them a wonderful flavor as they absorb the essence of the wine and oil.
Once the shells have opened, add two cups of the tomato sauce to the pot, and muddle the sauce around with the wine so that everything is combined. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
It will only need to cook for a couple of minutes in the hot sauce. Make sure everything is submerged, cover, and after a minute or two, remove from heat.
If you can find them, chop them up into manageable pieces, and then add them to the cooking sauce so they can tenderize for a little bit in the heat.
Finally, remove all the seafood from the pan so that just the sauce remains. Drop the pasta into the remaining sauce and toss around so that it is fully covered and the flavors marry.
|Tossing the squid ink pasta into the sauce.|
|The cooked frutti di mare.|
The wine we used for this was a really special one that we picked up in Napa when we were there last September. It's from a small family owned vineyard called Jocelyn Lonen. We were treated to a tasting of their delicious wines overlooking beautiful vineyards by their exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable tasting manager Sam.
This chardonnay is one of the best we've ever had, by far. There is virtually no oakiness, it's extremely smooth, and wonderfully buttery. We used this for the sauce and it made it really stand out, and then enjoyed the rest. If you're into chardonnays, you should definitely head over to their website and place an order for a few bottles.
We were very satisfied with this meal. The seafood was fresh and bursting with flavor, the budding chives added a nice tangy crunch, the sauce, infused with the delicious Lonen chardonnay, was luscious and delicious, and the fresh squid ink pasta was divine.
For those of you who love seafood, this should be a go to dish. Coupled with a wonderful wine, this was a great, luxurious way to celebrate Herbie's first year and the addition of a new member to our family!
Click through for the full ingredients list.