Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Linguine con le' Cozze, Finocchio, Olive e Tarocchi

Despite the cold winter months, there is still something good to make you forget about the weather. That is delicious citrus fruit. In this simple pasta dish I have used one of my favorite citrus fruits and one of my favorite vegetables in several ways to demonstrate different textures. They are then paired with one of my favorite types of shellfish to make one extremely delicious and harmonious pasta dish.

1# Linguine
1# Mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
3T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1T chili flakes
2t fennel seed
1/3# pitted Sicilian olives(or gaeta)
1 Fennel bulb, cored, 1/2 of it 1/4" slice & the other half shaved very thin (1/4cup Fennel Fronds reserved for garnish)
4 Blood Oranges, two cut in half & juiced and the other two segmented into supremes
1 1/2 cups White wine
2T cup grated buddha's hand
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
3T Blood Orange infused Olive Oil

Bring 6Qts of water to a boil
Add a handful salt to boiling water
Heat 3T extra virgin olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat
add 1/4" sliced fennel & chili and saute for 5 minutes
drop linguine into pasta water
add olives, garlic & fennel seed and saute for another 2 minutes
add mussels, wine & blood orange juice and cover and cook for 2 minutes until mussels open
Remove the mussels and set aside
when pasta is 1 minute from al dente remove from pasta water and add to the sauce
toss together for last minute
add any pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce
remove from heat and stir in buddha's hand zest, parsley, fennel fronds, blood orange segments, raw shaved fennel, mussels and blood orange oil
garnish with a bit more parsley and fennel fronds
serve immediately

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