Ciao, welcome back to my blog!
Today I am going to show you one of my favourite traditional recipes from my beloved Tuscany: one-pot seafood guazzetto.
What is guazzetto?
"Guazzetto style (meaning “splashing around”) (is) a savoury pool of half-ripe tomatoes dubbed mezzotempo, parsley, pepperoni and garlic." from OZY
Sounds promising, right?
In Italian and Mediterranean culture, seafood is a healthy and tasty meal option to stay fit while enjoying a delicious meal.
I usually consume fish on a weekly basis as it is the best source of vitamin B12 as well as being nourishing and very filling.
There are quite a lot of steps to make an excellent seafood guazzetto dish but the procedure is not difficult, so don't be put off by the length of the recipe, it is actually simple.
I didn't weight the seafood because I bought it from my local fishmonger, which friendly measure everything he sells me into "handfuls".
Ingredients for 2:
-A handful of prawns
-A medium squid
-A handful of scallops
-A handful of mussels
-A handful of clams
-A half teaspoon of chilli flakes
-2 cloves of garlic
-5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
-Half a glass of white wine
-A cup of tomato passata
-a small bunch of thinly chopped parsley
-a small bunch of thinly chopped basil
-a pinch of salt
Start cleaning thoroughly the mussels and the clams. You don't want the sand that could hide inside the shells ruin your dish!
Clams need to be purged prior to cooking: soak the clams in a bowl of cold water and a tbsp of salt for 20 minutes.
After that, the water needs to be changed, as the clams will have purged sand and grit that was inside the shells. Repeat the process twice.
- Place the mussels in a colander in the sink and run water over them.
In order to remove the dirt and debris on the shells, scrub them with a sturdy brush.
It's not the most pleasant task but it had to be done, you cannot skip this step!
I have seen many street food vendors selling paella or other kinds of seafood dishes with the shell not perfectly clean when I went to London's most famous central food market and let me tell you that I was shocked. It's not healthy!
Even if you are only eating what's inside the shell, the dirt that's on it will be in the sauce anyway. So, please, always clean the shell of your mussels.
-Now that the tough part is done, place the mussels and the clams in a large pot with the oil, one clove of garlic cut in half, the chilli, and sprinkle with thinly chopped parsley and basil. Add half a cup of water too.
-Cover with a lid and set on high heat for 3/4 minutes, which will make the shells open.
-Stir them every now and then and make sure to not overcook them, otherwise will lose their yummy and juicy texture. The clams and mussels that are not opening are surely full of sand or they were dead before being cooked, so throw them away.
-Drain them, filtering the liquid with the help of a fine sieve and set aside. We will use it later as it gives a yummy sea flavour to the dish. Open the clams and mussels, take out the meat and remove the vast majority of shells. Leave only some of them to garnish.
Moving on with the PRAWNS, it is up to you if you want to leave them as a whole or if you prefer to remove the shell. I would usually clean them because they are easier to eat, however, I would also leave a couple with the skin to garnish.
To take off the shell, I just cut the head off and then make an incision with a knife where the little legs are, in order to open them easily without breaking them.
I usually ask my local fishmonger to clean them, but I will rinse them in cold water anyway before cooking.
Cut the squid into thick slices. It will be added to the pan at the very last minute as it needs only a minute to cook ( if overcooked it turns very chewy so we definitely want to avoid that).
-Wash the tomatoes and cut the tomatoes into cubes.
- In a large pan, put 2 tbsps of olive oil, the tomato cubes, the chilli flakes, the clove of garlic cut in a half chopped parsley and basil and the garlic. Let the base warm for a minute to release its aroma, on high heat, then add the prawns and the scallops. Fry them for only a couple of minutes, then add the mussels and the clams. Pour now the half cup of white wine on the seafood and cook for another couple of minutes to allow the alcohol to steam away.
- Add the tomato cubes and the passata to the pot.
Let it cook for another couple of minutes. Lastly, toss the squid slices in the pot. Stir, season with some salt and let cook for another minute.
When the squid turns white is fully cooked and you can sprinkle with some extra chopped parsley and basil.
-Serve hot with plenty of toasted sourdough bread rubbed garlic and a good glass of white wine or Prosecco.
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Check another of my delicious recipes with seafood: