Pasta al Scoglio … Pasta with shellfish!

Pasta al scoglio is basically my favourite recipe for pasta …. this week it is anyway … next week it might be pasta alla Puttanesca and the week after Pasta all Norma! You see, I can’t even make up my mind whether it’s pasta … or Pasta, so how can I be consistent on which is my favourite.

Pasta al Scoglio is basically a shell-fish pasta cooked on rather festive occasions by the sea in Italy … and if done well is really absolutely the best you can get …. apart from a good Carbonara or a really good Pasta al Pesto!

If you want to be ridiculous you can include lobster … but pasta with lobster is little more than showboating as generally you can’t taste it when mixed with other things unless you add brandy to the sauce and are sitting somewhere like the via Condotti in Rome or staying in the ‘special‘ room at the Hotel Marconi by the Rialto bridge, and where you have locked your guests into the room – as being Americans, they wanted to go to MacDonalds – and insist on cooking them the lobster thing whilst looking out over the Grand Canal, just so that you can say you have done it !

Tonight I used fresh Clams, fresh Cravats (at least so my spellchecker tells me, though I suspect you know what I mean!) and some wonderful scallops with roe. I also used some Isle of Wight baby tomatoes which were wonderful and needed no sugar, a shedload of garlic and some basil and loads and loads of olive oil to get that sort of tomatoey-smeary-oily consistency which defines a good pasta sauce and which remains on the plate in smears – from scraping the last drop of sauce with a spoon into your mouth – once you have finished the main part of the dish.

But tonight …yes, tonight I did something which if I may say so .. and I may .. was utterly brilliant! Either one uses spaghetti for this – and eagle eyed readers of my rubbish will know that is NOT a pasta I like to use as the sauce pools on the bottom of the plate whilst you stuff mouthfuls of semi-arid spaghetti into your mouth – or ones uses something ‘short’ (pasta corta!) like penne or farfalle.

So tonight I used socking great conchiglie! Humungous shells which were about the size of …. the cravats or the scallops … or even the tomatoes. It was a revelation as one was able to spoon up a piece of this and that into the shell, add some sauce and some herbs and some whatever else you found loafing, and put it all into your mouth in one delicious go !

For pudding I had a passion fruit which was perfectly ripe and to drink I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Kiwi.

Previous dinner posts from Peter

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