Tag Archives: Sustainable seafood

PASTA CON LE SARDE, an iconic Sicilian recipe from Palermo. Cooked at Slow Food Festival Melbourne

Slow Fish Festival: Save Our Seafood

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To those of you who attended the successful event at Spotswood – Kingsville, Slow Fish Festival: Save Our Seafood.

As promised, here is an update of the recipe Pasta con le Sarde I cooked at this event.

There are already two posts about this recipe:

PASTA CON LE SARDE (Pasta with sardines, from Palermo, made with fennel, pine nuts and currants)

PASTA CON SARDE – the baked version, Palermo, Sicily

Here are some useful photographs to compliment the recipes:

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Wild fennel plant.

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Wild fennel shoots.

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Packing wild fennel for the winter season – used to flavour the pasta water.

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Extra flavour with sachet of fennel seeds. It can be removed when you also remove the boiled wild fennel.

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Wild fennel sold in bunches at Catania Market.

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You will need a plate to serve it. This is an Alessi Plate ( not THE Alessi, the Sicilian Alessi) They use old stencils, colours and images from the past to decorate their plates.

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Recipe in Sicilian Seafood Cooking, Tim White from Books For Cooks (Melbourne) may have a couple of this book left for sale.

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Timballo, made with left over Pasta con Sarde

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Reference was made to  Il Gattopardo – The Leopard, by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampadusa. Film made by Visconti, an historical epic, based on Lampedusa’s novel.

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PRAWN GUIDE, make better choices

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I am likely to be cooking prawns sometime over the Christmas period, and not just any prawns.

Those of you who read The Age (a Melbourne newspaper) may have read:

Date December 15, 2015

Woolies, Coles, Aldi caught up in child labour scandal

Woolworths, Coles and Aldi are embroiled in a child labour scandal, with all three supermarket chains confirming they sell prawns or seafood supplied by a Thai company at the centre of the allegations.

Graphic evidence of forced labour, including child labour, has been uncovered at a prawn peeling factory owned by major seafood supplier Thai Union.

An investigation by Associated Press found hundreds of workers at the company’s factories working under poor conditions with some workers, mainly from Myanmar, locked inside or otherwise unable to leave the factory……

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I am always fussy about the prawns I buy.

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You may be interested in this Prawn Guide:

www.prawnguide.org

This guide will help you choose more sustainable and ethical prawns this Summer.

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 Other useful sites:

ZUPPA DI COZZE SGUSCIATE (A thick soup made with mussel meat)

I have a tendency to always cook too much food and there are leftovers, but I enjoy transforming cooked ingredients into something different. You could say that I am being frugal.

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This time I had some cooked mussels in their shells in some of their broth and I thought that I would use these ingredients to make a soup by adding red tomatoes;  I also added a lot of basil and some grated zucchini and the results were a thick, fragrant and highly flavoured soup.

This made a soup for 4 people.

If you do not have ready cooked mussels, this is what you can do:

Stage1: The mussels
Clean the mussels in their shells (about 500gm; remove beards, wash or scrub the mussels under running water.
In a saucepan, heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and add 2 spring onions chopped finely; sauté for 1 minute. Add mussels in their shells, 2 tablespoon chopped parsley and about ¾ cup of white wine. Cover, cook on high heat and bring to a boil.  Toss them around now and again until the shells open.
Once cool keep the juice (this is the broth) and remove the mussel meat from the shells. Keep a few in their shell for decoration.

Stage 2: The soup
Mussels and their broth, see above,
ripe tomatoes, peeled  and chopped, 800g
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
fresh basil leaves, some to cook with and some to add at the end
2 zucchini, grated
1 spring onion
black pepper or fresh chill (sliced thinly)
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 
salt to taste (mussel broth could be salty)

PROCESSES
Place the tomatoes in a saucepan  add garlic, some of the oil and some basil. Leave uncovered and cook on low-medium heat until thickened (about 15 mins). This results into a tomato salsa which could also be used for dressing pasta.
In a  pan that is large enough to take all of the ingredients, heat the rest of the olive oil, add spring onion and zucchini and  cook until soft, stirring often.
Add the mussel meat, their broth and more water if necessary and simmer for another 5 minutes until heated through.
 Add fresh basil and serve.

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