Thomasina Miers’ recipe for Sicilian clams with linguine

Give pasta and clams a nutty, zesty Sicilian twist

Back in the 1500s, both Sicily and Mexico were ruled by Spain, and the Italian island found itself squarely on the trade route between the latter two countries. When Cortés discovered Mexico, he made his first base Veracruz, which became Mexico’s port to Europe. As a result, its cuisine benefited enormously from Sicilian ingredients such as capers and olives, while in return dishes such as hare with chilli and chocolate are as much part of Sicily’s culinary heritage as its tomato sauces – both are Aztec imports – and the cuisines of the two countries have been enriched, with the ingredients, herbs and seasoning all humming with intriguing tastes. Here, fennel seed, coriander and a hint of chilli add lilting notes to a fresh tomato sauce in which white wine (or sherry) adds complexity, while the nutty, zesty gremolata adds lightness and crunch.

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