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Cover: Mamma Mia!

Recipes with lemon juice

22Jul 12

Chilli Crab Spaghetti

Chilli Crab SpaghettiCrab is obviously just one of the many delicious and varied ‘frutti di mare’, or ‘fruits of the sea’ commonly found in Italian food. And, given that almost all of Italy’s regions have stretches of coast, it’s no wonder our rich seafood is omnipresent in our cuisine.

And, of course, feel free to switch out spaghetti for any other similar pasta like tagliatelli or fettucine. Any of those options would work.

A similar-tasting meat is crayfish meat, which are only found in fresh water. If you want to try out a recipe using crayfish, try this crayfish rice with mango recipe.

Like some other of my recipes in the blog, you can start off with the pasta, as the whole meal is done very quickly, whilst the pasta cooks.

A light, leafy green salad, using something like iceberg lettuce or Romaine (also known as Cos) lettuce, makes a good accompaniment to this dish, as would a dry white wine. A floral French Bordeaux wine would be one option, whilst the more flinty taste of Chablis, from Burgundy, would be another. Despite the differences, either type of wine pairs up nicely with crab, I think.

Chilli Crab Spaghetti
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This is also yet another example of simple and quick pasta that is light and delicious
Ingredients
  • 50ml olive oil (extra virgin is best)
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced into thin strips (set aside some fronds for use as garnish)
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced paper-thin
  • 1 red chilli (fresh), deseeded and finely chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • A handful of roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 50ml dry vermouth
  • The juice of ½ a lemon
  • 150g fresh crab meat
  • 200g spaghetti
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook according to the packet instructions, in a large pan of lightly salted water, till the pasta is al dente.
  2. Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan over a low heat. Add the garlic, chilli and fennel, and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the crab meat, and cook for a minute or so before adding the vermouth. Turn up the heat, bringing the liquor to the boil. Reduce for a couple of minutes, until most of the liquor has evaporated.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the remaining oil, the juice of half a lemon, and season. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  4. Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Add the chilli/crab mixture and stir it all together. Serve to warm plates, garnished with the cherry tomatoes and fennel fronds or parsley.

 

 

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18Jul 12

Porcini Papardelle

Porcini PappardellePappardelle is a broader version of tagliatelle, usually about an inch (2.5/3 cm) wide. It’s a delicious form of pasta, and reputedly gets its name from the verb “pappare”, which translates as to ‘scoff’ or ‘gobble’ up. Very appropriate!
Porcini mushrooms, whose Italian name is derived from ‘piglet’, belong to the genus Boletus, and are unquestionably the emperor amongst fungi, at least as far as we in Italy are concerned. (In England, they are called ceps.)You could use other mushrooms in this dish, but why do that? This recipe is really all about the particular flavour of the porcini, which is a blend of creamy, meaty and nutty flavours, a literal taste of their symbiotic relationship with the wooded areas where they grow (at least the wild ones).
I also recommend my mushroom risotto. Delicious! (If I do say so myself!)

It doesn’t take much to modify this dish. You could add bacon, chicken, courgettes, or all three. Or some cream, or a little dry white wine. We enjoyed a version of this we once tried where we used a little leftover roast rabbit. A green leafy salad, some crusty bread, and a dry white wine will all complement this dish perfectly.

Porcini Papardelle
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
It’s a delicious form of pasta, and reputedly gets its name from the verb “pappare”, which translates as to ‘scoff’ or ‘gobble’ up.
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 25g butter, cubed
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced paper-thin
  • I red chilli (fresh), deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • The juice of ½ a lemon
  • 200g porcini mushrooms, cleaned
  • 200g papardelle pasta
  • 50-100g Parmesan cheese shavings
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Start by making the sauce. After cleaning the porcini, slice them quite thinly (2 or 3 mm). Bring the oil in a heavy based frying pan up to a low heat, add the garlic and chilli, allowing them to infuse the oil, but being careful to ensure they don’t burn or get at all scorched.
  2. Turn up the heat and add the mushrooms, cooking them until they are tender and have taken on some colour, caramelizing very slightly. Turn off the heat and add the butter, stirring it in as it melts. Add the parsley (set a little aside for garnishing) and lemon juice.
  3. Now you can get on with the pasta. Cook the pasta in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water, until al dente. Reserve a cupful of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
  4. Mix the pasta with the mushrooms and sauce, and return to a medium heat, adding the reserved cooking liquid. When it’s all combined, and the pasta is unctuously coated, serve onto warmed plates or bowls, adding salt and pepper to taste, generous amounts of Parmesan shavings and the remaining chopped parsley.

 

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About Gianluca Dievole

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About

Buon' giorno! Welcome to my Italian food blog. I am Italian, and proud of it! Italy has so much going for it: with one foot quite literally in the beautiful Mediterranean, my country’s climate and location give us an amazing cornucopia of ingredients, which is why our culture is steeped in a hearty romantic culinary tradition. My wife and I love our food, so all my recipes are designed for two. If you're cooking for an average sized modern family - perhaps not the traditional extended Italian family - just double the quantities.