With the weather hopefully picking up soon here in the UK, it reminded me of those dishes that I think are made to be eaten outdoors. On busy summer days at our family restaurant, you could bet your bottom Lira that caprese salads and fritto misto would be served until we were calamari-white in the face. An equally popular dish was a variation of these tagliolini.
Despite the recipe having a cocktail like title, this pasta won’t be going in a shaker, nor is to be served on ice. By all means, give that a try and let me know how you get on. On the rocks, or strictly speaking, at the rocks, refers to the Italian ‘allo scoglio‘ recipe – a simple and light seafood pasta recipe, packed full of fresh flavour.
With this recipe, I’ve packed in some extra oomph by flavouring the pasta with fresh dill and freshly grated lemon zest. The end result is jazzy looking tagliolini speckled in the vibrant green herb, and smelling incredible. The idea with packing more flavour in the tagliolini pasta, is that we then meddle less with the sauce – leaving the seafood to work its magic.
Pair with a light and crisp white wine, or champagne if you’re my wife, and you may as well be on the rocks, feet dangling in the waves.
Prep time 30 mins; Cook time 20 mins
For the pasta:
200g ’00’ Flour
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch fine salt
zest of one lemon
2 teaspoons of finely chopped dill
For the sauce:
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
20 g of parsley, finely chopped
one fresh red chilli, chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
200ml of white wine
400g of mussels, cleaned
180g of King prawns,
a few glugs of olive oil
salt and pepper to season
For the pasta, follow the same technique as my ravioli recipe. Once you have your thin pasta sheets, pass them through the tagliatelle/tagliolini pasta machine attachment. Lightly toss around in a ’00’ and semolina flour mix, and lay as sparsely as possible on a floured chopping board.
Take a large saucepan and heat a good glug of olive oil. Add the garlic and the shallot, cooking until softened. Add the fresh chilli and white wine, cooking off the alcohol for 2-3 minutes. Add the mussels and most of the parsley. Season with salt and pepper then turn up the heat and cover.
Cook the mussels for about 4 minutes, tossing the pan a couple of times. Most of the mussels should be open by now – discard any closed ones. Drain them away from the liquid and keep warm and covered in a separate dish.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add a pinch of salt to the water.
Keep the pan with the mussels sauce over a medium heat and add the king prawns. Cook the prawns for 5-10 minutes, depending on size, until they firm up and turn pinky red. When the prawns are cooked, take the mussels and toss them back in with the prawns.
Lower the tagliolini into the boiling water and cook for around 3 minutes, trying to maintain an ‘al dente’ bite.
The overall consistency of the sauce should be quite thin and juicy. If you feel its too thick, add another splash of white wine, giving the alcohol time to cook off, and also add a small ladle of pasta water.
Drain the pasta and transfer it in with the sauce, add the leftover parsley, and give it all a good toss around. Serve up and spoon over any remaining sauce.
Crack open a bottle of wine, and head for the garden. Or if it’s peeing it down, stay inside and look at some holiday photos. Who cares, for now you’ve got ‘the Med’ on a plate!
E adesso si mangia….Buon Appetito
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