Usually when I buy vongole I have them with spaghetti (garlic and parsley and white wine), but now and again I like to play around with different flavours and because I had some Chorizo in the fridge, the vongole ended up being more Spanish than Italian.
You can see the ingredients that went into this dish. Paprika is called pimenton in Spain. It has a smoky taste, but if you do not have it use common paprika instead.
Because the vongole release their salty juices when cooked, I generally do not add salt. A recipe very similar to this one but without the Chorizo is in my second book, Small Fishy Bites.
400-500g cooked Cannellini beans
3 Chorizo sausage (skins removed and sliced)
2-3 tsps smoked pimenton (mixture of sweet and
hot to taste)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 glass white wine (or Manzanilla or Fino sherry)
4 spring onions sliced
1-2 cloves garlic chopped finely
2 tbsp of tomato paste or 1 can (400grams)
of peeled tomatoes
2-3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2-3 springs of thyme
Lightly fry the sliced Chorizo in very little oil until it starts to brown. Remove it and set aside and use the same saucepan to proceed with the rest of the ingredients.
Add more oil to the pan and sauté the onions on low heat till they soften; add the garlic and pimenton, stir gently for 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, thyme and wine or sherry, cover and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
Add cockles and parsley.
Cover and cook until they have opened, shaking the saucepan occasionally to distribute the heat evenly.
Serve with plenty of bread.
Cooking with Spanish flavours sent me looking at some of the photos from my last trip to Spain. Fond memories of good old Barcelona and a butcher in Madrid!
Writing this recipe has brought back many memories of Spain..
A must when in New Zealand is to eat the green-lipped mussels. They are so much larger and meatier than the varieties of black mussels common in Australia and Europe.
I stayed with friends on Waiheke Island located in the Hauraki Gulf. It is about 17.7 km from Auckland in the North Island of New Zealand. I bought the mussels from the local fish shop and cooked them with extra virgin olive oil, white wine, parsley and quite a bit of garlic (Cozze in Brodetto).
The next time I cooked green lipped mussels was a few days later when I visited other friends in Queenstown in the South Island. I bought the mussels in another great fish shop in Dunedin and both towns are in the South Island of New Zealand. I cooked these with tomatoes and cannellini beans and these are the photos and the recipe. On this occasion I used tinned beans.
Black mussels can also be used in this recipe.
There were 4 of us.
mussels, 2.5 k
dry white wine ½ cup
parsley, ½ cup chopped
cannellini beans, I used 2 x 400g tins, cooked and drained
tomato salsa: 800g of tinned red tomatoes, oregano (dried) or fresh basil leaves, salt, 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, 4 cloves chopped finely
Place the tomato, basil or oregano, extra virgin olive oil and liquid from the mussels in a saucepan and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes until reduced to about 2 cups.
Clean and de-beard mussels.
Place mussels in a large, wide saucepan, add wine and parsley, cover and place over high heat to steam open.
Remove the open mussels from the cooking liquid as you go (I placed mine in a large serving bowl). Leave the unopened ones in the liquid until they all open.
Evaporate the cooking liquid until you only have about 1 cup of concentrated liquid. This will be salty and this is why no salt has been used elsewhere.
Add the cannellini to the salsa and heat.
Combine all of the ingredients together and serve.
Reduction of liquid
You can see that I like mussels quite a bit. For other mussel recipes see: