Recipe of the Week: Seafood Spaghetti ‘Alla Napoletana’
One of my favorite destinations when I travel to Italy with my groups on our gastronomic tours is the charming town of Sorrento situated on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. Overlooking the Bay of Naples with its deep blue waters and the imposing Vesuvius Volcano, Sorrento has charmed the heart and soul of many artists, singers and visitors alike. I love walking the bustling old town with its colorful shops, elegant stores and friendly locals inviting you in for a taste of their limoncello liquor or their gelato. Sorrento counts some of Italy’s finest restaurants and its cuisine is simply delicious. Rich in flavor and using only local ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil and plenty of fresh seafood. This is one of mine favorite recipes using only the best flavors of Sorrento, it is so good that it will make your heart sing while you eat it. Serves eight. (Chef tip: Make sure that you use only fresh seafood; clams and mussels must be closed before you cook them and open after you cook them.
1 pound spaghetti pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound small baby clams
1/2 pound de-bearded mussels
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and devein
1/2 pound bay scallops
1 small onion, peeled and finely minced
1/2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/8 teaspoon red hot pepper flakes
2 anchovy fillets, finely minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata black olives
1 cup Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring a 10-quart pot of water to boil. Add salt. Cook pasta until “al dente.” Drain and reserve.
Place clams and mussels in a bowl of cold water with one teaspoon of salt for five minutes. Drain and rinse well. Heat olive oil in 12-inch skillet. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, red pepper and anchovies. Cook for five minutes on medium heat. Add chopped tomatoes and wine and heat through. Cook at low heat for 10 minutes.
Add tomato sauce, olives, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 more minutes. Add clams, shrimp, scallop and mussels. Cover with a lid and steam for a few minutes.
Toss pasta with prepared sauce. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.