Thursday, 9 August 2012


I have a good friend who is half Italian, and whose father was a very good cook, so I am always a bit nervous about writing about Italian food - so I hope if I make any culturally glaring errors she forgives me!

This is a lovely light starter that stimulates the appetite rather than smothers it, with flavour combinations that are well balanced and zingy. I used prawns, squid and scallops but you can also use razor clams, queenies, mussels, octopus and clams.  It is difficult to give measurements for the ingredients as it all depends on appetites and seafood combinations, but this is what we had last time I made it:

Serves 4

Olive oil
Clove of garlic crushed
8 king scallops, roe removed and sliced horizontally in half
4 medium sized squid tubes, with tentacles if possible, sliced into rings
16 king prawns, deveined
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Teaspoon of chilli flakes
Small bunch of chopped parsley

Heat the garlic slowly in 2 tablespoons of oil for five minutes to imopart its flavour - don't let it brown or it will become bitter. Remove the garlic and discard. Fry each item of seafood separately - I usually do the scallops first, getting the oil really hot and then searing them quickly on both sides. Remove to a bowl. Then do the prawns until they go pink and add to the scallops. Finally fry the squid rings and tentacles until just opaque and transfer to the bowl.

To the warm seafood add two tablespoons of good olive oil, ground black pepper and leave to cool. Then add the lemon juice, the chilli flakes and parsley. Stir and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Taste and season as required - you may need more lemon juice, more oil, or a pinch of salt. Divide between four shallow plates making sure everyone get an equal amount of seafood and dressing. I serve with warm ciabatta bread for soaking up the juices, and a chunk of lemon for added zing!

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