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Linguine with sea food

(Linguine con frutti di mare)

  • 400 grams of linguine
  • 100 grams of small squid cut into rounds
  • 100 grams of small shrimps ready peeled
  • 1 packet of clams
  • 25 grams of crab claw meat
  • 90 grams of sea urchins
  • 1 spoon of fish stock granules
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small bunch of parsley (keep aside a few leaves for the garnish)
  • 2 hot chillies
  • 2 celery leaves
  • a pinch of dried oregano
  • 2 red tomatoes cut in half and left to drain off their liquid
  • 4 red tomatoes peeled, de-seeded, chopped and put into a colander to drain off their juices
  • 10 spoons of olive oil
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • salt
Put the clams in cold salted water for at least 2 hours to expel the sand. Then rinse and scour them in several changes of water in order to completely remove all traces of sand. Put them in a pan, barely cover them with cold water and boil fiercely for 2-3 minutes until they open. Remove from heat and allow to cool, drain them (retaining the liquid), shell them and put to one side. Remove any impurities which may be found in the bottom of the remaining liquid keep it hot and ready for use.
Put together in a blender the first 5 cloves of garlic, the parsley, the chillies, oregano, celery, extract of fish stock, the oil and a ladle of the hot water in which the clams were cooked and blend to a liquid form. Put this into a small pan and cook on a medium flame for 3-4 minutes or until all trace of the raw garlic disappears. In the meantime remove the fibrous parts from the crab and put the meat in the blender together with the wine and another 5-6 spoons of the clam water, blend well and add to the mixture which is boiling in the pan. Stir and mix well and, on a high flame, evaporate the wine, cook for a further 2-3 minutes. In the blender put the two halved and drained tomatoes, the remaining two cloves of garlic, the sea urchin meat and the reserved clam cooking liquid, blend well, and add this to the sauce boiling in the pan. Stir and blend carefully, cook for a further 2-3 minutes on a low heat then add the chopped tomatoes. Stir and allow to come to the boil, stir again and add the shelled clams, cook for a further minute, adjust the salt and remove from heat.
Boil the linguine and drain "al dente"
In a pan put 5-6 spoons of the fish sauce, and on a high flame scarcely brown 2-3 of the shrimps and squid add the well drained linguine and stir in order to absorb the sauce. Add the parsley leaves left over for the garnish and re-stir for 1-2 minutes, add a few more spoons of the fish sauce, one last stir adding more sauce if the mixture of pasta and sea food seems too dry and serve immediately without further additions ; there is no need for salt.
A splendid masterpiece, this simple pasta dish by "Maestro" Paracucchi, which he presents in a more simple form because his restaurant "La Locanda dell'Angelo" in Ameglia, is very near the sea and therefore the fish still has all the smell and saltiness of the sea. These flavours, in the city, any city, including Milan (not withstanding its superciliousness) become lost for ever in the tight transportation packaging, it is therefore, necessary for us to recuperate (wherever possible) these flavours with tricks (see the tinned sea urchins, oregano etc.) which seems to contradict our philosophy of cooking, but gives excellent results. Trying is believing.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati

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