Spaghetti alla carbonara di mare

Spaghetti alla carbonara di mare


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The future of pasta, in my opinion, will be realised not only by reinventing pasta according to oneself, but by regenerating and reworking the classic accompaniments and sauces in new ways. This doesn’t mean to destroy our traditions, but it means to rethink and reimagine both ingredients and techniques.

I took the carbonara concept and substituted the chicken eggs with seafood eggs. I used green mandarin and red Mazara shrimps, both classic ingredients from Sicily. Then I cooked seafood, scallops, red shrimps, cuttlefish and amberjack fillet at a very slow temperature in guanciale fat, to resemble the rich meatiness of pasta carbonara. I served them on a separate plate from the pasta. In this way we have a new version of “carbonara” with no eggs and no dairy.

To begin, make the fish stock. Add a dash of olive oil to a large pan and add the sole bones and squilla mantis. Sauté until golden, then add the vegetables and thyme and cook for approximately 3 minutes
Cover with ice, then add the cold water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, then pass through a fine sieve and set aside
To make the seafood egg base, bring a pan of water to the boil then add the mussels and clams. Leave in the water for 8 seconds, then remove and transfer to iced water
Once chilled, remove the meat from the shellfish, reserving any liquid from the shells in a bowl. Pass the reserved liquid through a sieve lined with muslin to remove any grit
Add the shellfish meat to a blender, along with the strained liquid, bottarga, sea urchin roe, salmon roe and scallop roe. Blitz to a smooth paste, then keep in the fridge until needed
To prepare the prawn stock, peel each prawn, devein the tails and place the tails in the fridge. Add a dash of oil to a pan and roast the prawn shells and heads until just starting to colour
Add the vegetables, sauté for 3 minutes, then cover with the ice. Pour in the water, set the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. After this time, skim away any impurities that have risen to the surface
Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 45 minutes, occasionally skimming away any more impurities that have risen to the surface. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside
Now prepare the seafood. Finely dice 2 of the peeled prawn tails (whose shells were used for the stock) and place in the fridge. This will later be served as a quenelle on top of the final dish
Gently heat the diced guanciale in a pan over a low heat and render down the fat. Once all of the fat has been released, pass through a sieve into a clean pan
Cut the amberjack fillet into small rectangles and season with salt and white pepper
Clean the cuttlefish, open up the bodies and use a sharp knife to score the bodies in a cross-hatch pattern, ensuring you don’t cut all the way through. Keep the tentacles whole. Season with salt and white pepper
Season the cleaned scallops and the 4 reserved red prawns with salt and white pepper
Bring the guanciale fat to 44°C and add all of the seafood. Cook over a low heat for 12–22 minutes, keeping the temperature at 44°C throughout
When ready, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm until ready to serve
To prepare the pasta and sauce, add the olive oil to a 12 inch sauté pan and place over a low heat. Once hot, add the shallot, garlic and chilli and cook until the shallots are starting to become translucent
At this point, add the white wine and allow to evaporate. Add splashes of fish and shrimp stock
Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for approximately 6 minutes
Add the spaghetti to the sauté pan with the sauce. Add a splash more of the shrimp and fish stocks and cook for about 3 more minutes, ensuring the pasta stays al dente
Mix in 60g of the fish egg base, the mandarin zest and chopped parsley, stirring to create a creamy finish
To serve, use long, thin tweezers to spin the spaghetti into neat portions. Transfer to plates and top with a quenelle of the reserved diced prawn and a quenelle of caviar. Top with a chive
Place the confit seafood on a small plate to the side and serve
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