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One-Pot Seafood "Guazzetto"

In the Italian and Mediterranean culture seafood is a healthy and tasty variation your menu in every season of the year.

That's way I am posting this recipe in autumn: fish is not only a summery food, but it should be consumed weekly!

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 crushed chilli flakes

-A clove of garlic

-Extra virgin olive oil

-Half glass of white wine

-A cup of tomatoes' passata

-Fresh parsley

-Fresh basil

MUSSELS Start cleaning very well the mussels and the clams: you don't want the sand that might be inside ruin your dish! Clams need to be purged prior cooking and it take some time.

To do that you soak the clams in a bowl in fresh water and salt and leave them there to soak for about 20 minutes. After that, the water needs to be changed, as the clams will have purged any sand and grit. Repeat the process twice at least.

- Place the mussels in a colander in the sink and run water over them. In order to remove the dirt and debris on the shell you should 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 honestly have seen in some famous London market stall selling paella or other seafood dishes with the shell not perfectly clean: it' s not healthy! Even if you are eating what is inside the shell, but the dirt will be in the sauce anyway. So, please, always clean the shell of your mussels.

Now that the tough part is done, you can place mussels and clams in a pot with some oil, garlic, chilli, thinly chopped parsley and basil and a little bit of water.

-Cover with a lid and let them open stirring every now and then. It shouldn't take more than 3/4 minutes. Make sure to not overcook them otherwise they will shrink and they will loose their juice. The ones that are not opening are surely full of sand or they were dead already before being cooked so you can throw them away.

- I usually filter the water they made when opening and use it in the sauce we will make later as it gives a nice sea flavour to the dish. I also like to open and remove the shell to half of them and leave the rest for decoration.

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 usually leave again half with the shell for decoration but I will clean the rest because they are easier to eat. To take off the shell, I just cut off the head and then make an incision with a knife or a pair of scissors where the little legs are to open them easily without breaking them.

For the SQUID, I usually ask my local fishmonger to clean them, but I will rinse them in cold water anyway before cooking and then it has to be cut into thick slices. The squid will be added in the pan at the very last minute as it needs only a minute to cook but when overcooked it turns very hard so we definitely want to avoid that.

- In a large pan, put a generous spoon of olive oil, the chilli, chopped parsley and basil and garlic and let the mixture warm for a minute and then add the prawns and the scallops, as they need to cook more than the rest. It takes just 2/3 minutes and then you can add the mussels and the clams. Pour now half cup of white wine on the sea food and then let it cook for a couple of minutes more without the lid on.

- The seafood is now ready, so you can add the tomato passata to it. Let it cook another couple of minutes and then at last you can toss the squid too. Stir, season with some salt if you like and let cook for a minute. When the squid turns white is fully cooked and you can sprinkle with some more thinly chopped parsley and basil and serve the dish.

I love it paired with some toasted bread rubbed with some garlic and a good glass of white wine.

Simply delicious and amazing in every season.

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Check another of my recipes with prawns: