Monday, April 19, 2010

Spaghettini Pescatore

One of the many pleasures of being in a new country is the chance to link up with old friends. I went to Santa Domingo to meet with an old friend and his wife. Originally from Italy they live here now and run a successful import/export business.

My head already a sea of languages as I try to immerse myself in Spanish had to go back to Italian. We met for dinner at

Does Santa Domingo have a 5 star Italian Restaurant?

It does and this was a fine meal. The chef did what the best Italian Chefs have always done. He took what was local and made an amazing meal. Inspired by his inspiration I have created a dish that can be made anywhere there is fresh or frozen seafood. There is nothing wrong with the frozen, most shrimp, even those you buy fresh have been frozen. It is often done on the boat and retains the quality and texture.

This meal will require you to make a fish stock. Do not be afraid of this, it is much easier than it sounds. Just follow the steps and you will have success.

Go to your fishmonger and get as many fish heads as he will give you (No Salmon or Tuna) along with two pounds of shrimp, with the heads if you can get them.

Peel and behead your shrimp and place the peels and heads in a pot with a little hot oil. They will quickly turn pink, when they do add a chopped onion, two crushed cloves of garlic and two tablespoons of tomato paste. Lightly brown it and then add 10 cups of water and your fish heads. Turn to a simmer and leave alone for 90 minutes checking periodically. Resist the temptation to add salt as this stock will be very reduced when you turn it into sauce and it can be seasoned at that time.

After about 90 minutes come back and remove the fish heads and bones with slotted spoon leaving the shrimp. Bring back to a boil until you have about 4 cups of liquid. Cool and puree. That's right grind it all up. Then put through a fine sieve so all the large solids are removed.

Simmer and reduce to about two cups.

Keep on a simmer and it will continue to reduce slightly while you make your pasta.

Put a huge pot on to boil with a lot of salt. Grab 1 lb  of Spaghettini.

Slightly less than two cups of strong fish stock
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 anchovies finely diced. 
The shrimp you have retained and if you like some Calamari cut into rings and baby Octopus if available. The amounts can vary.

Once you have added the butter and cream throw in the seafood on a very low heat. Drain the pasta and turn the heat up on your sauce, finish cooking the pasta in the sauce.


Resist the temptation to garnish with cheese, if you would like a garnish a few bread crumbs toasted in butter are enough.

No comments: