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Bocca Cookbook

SPAGHETTINI WITH LOBSTER, MUSSELS
AND GINGER SICILY


I first had this dish at Al Merluzzo Felice in Milan – one of the loveliest Sicilian restaurants in Italy. It has a tiny dining room, and a menu of seminal dishes – many of which have been assimilated here: fish with capers and ricotta salata (see page 00), cannoli (see page 00), and a dish of spaghettini cooked in bianco (without tomato) with white wine, ginger, mussels, clams, prawns, langoustines and lobster. 

 

     A version of the last can also be found, from time to time, on my menu at Bocca di Lupo, but there I have corrupted it by adding tomato and reducing the panoply of seafood to a minimum – only decadent native lobsters and humble mussels.

Serves 2 as a starter, 4 as a main

200g spaghettini

1 live lobster, weighing

  around 600g, preferably

  Scottish or Cornish
16-20 small, plump mussels

1 1/2 tablespoons very

  finely chopped fresh

  root ginger

1 garlic clove, finely

  chopped

 

Scant ½ teaspoon crushed

  dried chilli flakes

8 tablespoons extra virgin

  olive oil

150ml light tomato sauce,

  or 200g ripe cherry or

  datterino (baby plum)

  tomatoes, quartered

60ml white wine


Prepare the lobster first: anaesthetise it for 15 minutes in the freezer, then split it down the middle. This is, as far as I know, the most humane death available, but if you’re squeamish, drop it in furiously boiling water for 3 minutes (having already freezernumbed it) before splitting. Cut it into 2–3cm chunks (head and all: it’s full of flavour, and flesh if you’re happy to bite and suck at the table), including the claws for easy access. Remove the dead man’s fingers from under the carapace if you know what these are, otherwise don’t worry about them. Beard the mussels.

 

When you’re ready to eat, put the pasta on and heat a very wide frying pan over your largest flame. Start to cook the sauce 3–4 minutes before the pasta is done. All at once, add the lobster, ginger, garlic, chilli and 6 tablespoons of the oil, and fry for a couple of minutes until the crustacean shells have turned red, and some of the garlic has started to brown. Add the tomato and mussels and fry for a minute more, then add the wine and let bubble until all the mussels have opened. Drain the pasta, al dente as ever, and add to the pan with the remaining oil. Stir together over the heat for a minute, and serve straightaway.

Bocca Cookbook

I GUAI DELLA PIGNAT TA SABÈ SOLO CUCCIAIO
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JACOB KENEDY · BOCCA DI LUPO · 12 ARCHER STREET · LONDON W1D 7BB · WWW.BOCCADILUPO.COM