Lumache con lumache di mare. Or snails with sea snails! I was mightily confused when I first translated this recipe until I realised that they meant the pasta shapes known as snails with whelks.
Whelks are more often eaten poached and eaten as part of a seafood antipasto. They can also be dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. Serves 4
Pasta with whelks ingredients
350 g lumache (or similar pasta shape)
500 g whelks — thoroughly washed and soaked in cold water for 3-4 hours
1 medium onion — chopped
1 clove garlic
100 ml dry white wine
100 g tomatoes — chopped
1 chilli — chopped
Drain the whelks. Add to a pan along with the tomatoes garlic and chilli. Cover with fish stock and simmer until the whelks can be removed from their shells (with the aid of a tooth pick) About 10 minutes. Keep a couple of shells for decoration. Discard the stock.
In a clean pan, fry the onion in a little olive oil. Add the whelk meat and fry for another minute. Add the wine and let it evaporate. Add the parsley and remove from the heat.
Cook the pasta and toss with the whelk sauce. Serve immediately
Pasta with whelks finished dish
PS The more sharp eyed among you will have noticed that when I cooked this dish I couldn’t find lumache. Isn’t that just typical I used gnocchi instead.
Finocchi alla diavola. Alla diavola translates as ‘the devil’s way’ which usually means a little spicy. In this case it means that the dish includes hot mustard. The recipe comes from the Silver Spoon, so I haven’t actually seen it in Italy.It is good for people who don’t normally like fennel, as the mustard and vinegar remove the strong aniseed taste that many people find distasteful. Serves 4.
Fennel alla diavola ingredients
4 salted anchovies (or 8 tinned fillets) — cleaned, filleted and soaked, then chopped
50 ml olive oil
4 fennel bulbs — trimmed and cut into wedges
1 tsp dijon or English mustard
1 tsp white wine vinegar
juice of a lemon
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a pan, add the anchovies and cook, mashing with a wooden spoon, until they have almost disintegrated, then add the fennel.
Mix together the mustard and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the mixture over the fennel.
Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, until the fennel is tender. Add a little water from time to time if necessary.
Remove the fennel from the pan and place on a warmed serving dish. Turn up the heat, add the lemon juice to the cooking liquid and stir until it starts to thicken
This dish looks quite tricky to prepare but is actually very easy. It’s been a favourite of mine for a while now. It turns an ordinary chicken leg into quite a show off dish. Serves 4
Stuffed Chicken Leg ingredients
4 whole chicken legs — leg and thigh
4 slices parma ham
50 grams bread crumbs — freshly ground
1 tablespoon parsley — chopped
1/4 whole nutmeg — grated
75 grams mortadella — chopped
1 clove garlic — chopped
Bone the legs. This is a bit fiddly but not too difficult. You should get one roughly rectangular shaped fillet from each leg.
Mix together the eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, mortadella and nutmeg to make the stuffing. Season with pepper. Don’t add salt because both the mortadella and the parma ham are quite salty.
Place 1/4 of the mix along the centre of each leg fillet.
Fillet with stuffing
Roll up to form a sausage shape and then wrap with a slice of Parma ham. If the slices are quite small then you might have to use two. It is easiest if you place the ham flat on a chopping board, place the chicken on top and then roll up.
stuffed chicken leg ready to cook
Place on an oiled baking tray and roast for 20 minutes at 200°C 400°F or gas mark 6
Allow to rest for a few minute and then slice into thick rounds.
Stuffed chicken leg finished dish
Note. The is my version of a recipe by Antonio Carluccio. The original used back bacon instead of Parma ham. If you use bacon you will probably have to tie the fillets with kitchen string. You will also need to brown them in olive oil before roasting
There are 1001 different versions of penne arrabbiata. Here’s mine. (So does that now make 1002? ) The name means angry penne because of the chilli. Feel free to adjust the chillies if you prefer it milder or hotter. I even heard of someone cooking it without any chilli! They still insisted on calling it penne arrabbiata though. I would have thought penne felice would have been more appropriate :-) Serves 4