Tag Archives: seafood

Sunday linguine with shrimp

An Italian friend was visiting Accra, and offered to come over and cook Sunday lunch. It was delicious! He had bought the shrimp that morning at the fish market in Jamestown. I am counting down to Italian summer holidays by the sea, so this was perfect. I do moan about the lack of fresh seafood in Accra, being on the coast and in Gulf of Guinea as we are, but it does exist: getting fresh shrimp just takes a bit of detective work and effort.

Sunday linguine with shrimp

50 ml olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Pinch of chili flakes
1 kg fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
7 or 8 medium plum tomatoes, diced

Pinch of salt
500 grammes dry linguine

To serve: Small handful chopped fresh parsley

Put the pasta water on and start the pasta. Heat the olive oil and sauté the chopped garlic. Tip in the diced tomatoes. Finally, let the shrimp cook gently in the tomato sauce for just a few minutes. Toss sauce and linguine, and serve at once, with a bit of fresh parsley and cold white wine.


Note: the tomatoes seem to have vanished into the pasta, but it was delicious!

 

 

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Italian stopover: vongole, leeks and cannelini

Too much travelling the last few months, too little cooking. We just finished a lovely week off the Tuscan coast with friends. I am recovering from food poisoning  (never again samosas in Dar es Salaam…..) so ate little and cooked less, but this dish went down well. 

Italy is also in the grip of the heatwave named Lucifer. HOT here!

Same island every year, always wonderful. It seemed a bit quiet this year, the Italian economy must still be down. 

But we had a great week! Fresh fish and seafood from the fish truck, shouting Pesce Fresco each morning.

Vongole with leeks and cannelini

Bag of vongole (small clams)
Three cloves of garlic
Two leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
One medium tin of cannelini beans or other beans
Generous handful parsley, chopped
Two tbs olive oil
Splash of white wine or water, half a lemon if you have one 

Toast  or crusty bread to serve

Cataplana debut! I bought this in Lisbon in June, took it back to Accra, but decided this holiday was a good time to try it. Special pan for steaming shellfish, it clamps shut like a low level pressure cooker and worked really well. 

First: soak clams in water in sink for half an hour, removing any damaged ones or ones that do not close. 

Hear pan with a little oil and white wine or water, tip in handful of clams and steam 4-5 minutes with lid on. You will hear clams pop open. With a slotted spoon fish out done clams and do next batch, I did this in three batches so they were not crowded. 
Leaving liquid in pan, add sliced leeks and garlic and cook 2 or 3 minutes while you de-shell clams and remove any that did not open. Optional step, we were waiting for a lunch guest.  Then add drained beans, chopped parsley and clams and heat briefly through. Maybe half a lemon squeezed over? Serve with toast or crusty bread.

Happy holidays!

Isola del Giglio: dinner at Da Tony

Moscardini at Da Tony
Moscardini fritti, so tasty……. Yes, here I am taking pictures of food in a restaurant, which is annoying. It is for research, I swear! We had such delicious food at Da Tony, and I want to try making some of these at home, if I can find some semi-decent seafood.

Tagliatelle alla scoglio
Tagliatelle alla scoglio (scoglio roughly means rock emerging from the sea): cozze, vongole calamari (mussels, clams, squid), scampi, cherry tomatoes, garlic, parsley, mmm…..

Tagliolini with coda di rospo, pachini and rughetta
Tagliolini with coda di rospo, pachino and rughetta. Very tasty.

Now, if I had brought along Daniel Etherington’s excellent guide Italian names for fish and seafood, I would have known what I was eating……..

coda di rospo – what a great name. It literally means “tail of the toad” or “toad’s tale”. The other common name for this fish is rana pescatrice, “frog fisherwoman”. Slightly more prosaically, we call this type of monkfish “anglerfish” (Lophius piscatorius), though other English names are frog-themed. Some more colourful Italian names are: diavolo de mar (“sea-devil”, also a name used in English apparently), rospo di fango (“mud-toad”), pisatrice nera, etc. Novel names aside though, the angler is really one of the core species to not eat, and it’s been on the Greenpeace Red List since 2010. Even the UK Marine Conservation society rates it as 4 (with 5 the worst).

Spaghetti alla vongole
Spaghetti alle vongole, the classic

Riso con crema di scampi
Riso con crema di scampi

Tagliolini con scampi
Tagliolini con limone e scampi, very light and fresh

This is all making me really hungry….. Now, some seafood for dinner, I think. Tonight we are making a recent Venetian-inspired recipe from The Telegraph, which looked fun: Sardines with Campari, peach and fennel recipe. Must go start the sardines now, they are already marinating in grated peaches and Campari. If we could then add the sound of the waves, a nice sunset and an evening sea breeze, it would be just perfect!