My simple Italian

Vongole Veraci with tomato sauce

 
 

Sea bass carpaccio

15-20 minutes, serves 2.

1 very fresh sea bass fillet, about 200g

1 tsp chopped marjoram

1 tsp chopped fresh red chilli

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 Datterini or cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

wild rocket

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Using a very sharp knife, slice the sea bass fillet downwards towards the skin into slices as thin as possible; discard the skin. Lay the slices on two plates or a platter.

2. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the marjoram and chilli. Drizzle over the olive oil and scatter the tomatoes on top. Finish with some rocket leaves.

30 minutes, serves 2.

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes or tomato passata

small bunch of basil

1kg fresh clams in shell (palourde)

2 fresh red chillies, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 3 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add half the garlic and cook briefly until it turns a light golden brown.

2. Add the canned tomatoes or passata with some of the basil leaves and stir, then cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes (or 10 minutes if using passata) until thick, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, put the clams in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water, shaking the colander vigorously. Discard any clams that remain open.

4. Towards the end of the simmering time for the tomato sauce, heat the remaining olive oil in a shallow pan with the rest of the garlic and the chillies. Add the clams and stir. Cover and steam for 2-3 minutes until the shells are open. Discard any that remain closed.

5. Add the tomato sauce and stir through. Season with salt and pepper and add the rest of the basil leaves, roughly torn. Serve hot.

 

Oyster soup

30 minutes, serves 4 as a starter.

4 Charlotte potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp finely chopped carrot

2 tbsp finely chopped onion

2 tbsp finely chopped celery

1 tsp chopped thyme

2 heaped tbsp pancetta cubes

1 garlic clove, finely sliced

12 freshly shucked oysters (with their liquor), chopped

100ml milk

5 tbsp double cream

1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Parboil the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for 5 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the carrot, onion, celery, thyme, pancetta and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

3. Add the oyster liquor, milk, cream and potatoes. Bring to a simmer, then add the chopped oysters and parsley. Simmer gently for 3 minutes.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

 

Roast red mullet fillet with charlotte potatoes, fennel, olives and capers

40 minutes, serves 4.

12 Charlotte potatoes, peeled

1 large fennel bulb

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

2 whole red mullets, scaled and filleted

2 heaped tbsp pitted black olives, preferably Taggiasche

1 tbsp small capers in vinegar, drained

2 tbsp chopped parsley

200g Datterini or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

lemon juice

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven o 200°C. Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for about 10 minutes until just tender; drain and cut into 5 mm slices. While the potatoes are cooking, cut the fennel bulb length ways in half, then cut each half into 1 cm half-moon slices. Cook the fennel in another pan of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes until tender; drain.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof frying pan and fry the potato slices until they start to colour. Add the fennel and fry for a minute longer.

3. Season the mullet fillets with salt and pepper, then place, skin side up, on top of the potatoes and fennel. Scatter the olives, capers, parsley and tomatoes over the fish. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 5 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven and finish with a squeeze of lemon and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

Theo Randall's Italian Kitchen

Badenerstrasse 420

8040 Zurich

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