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Venetian Seafood Pasta Bigoli

Pasta is a such a mainstay of our lives and it’s rate that a pasta dish tastes really different but this one really really will be a new experience for your taste buds. The inspiration came from Rick Stein’s Venice book (I’m a big fan), where he used a Venetian pasta enticingly called “Bigoli” a thick spaghetti like pasta… I strongly suspect this will become known as “Bigoli Pasta” in our house! I’ve made this dish more of a week-night wonder than Rick’s elevated fare, but kept the element that really makes it different- the mix of spices. Try it, you will not be disappointed! This serves 2 generously.

2 tbls olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
I leek, finely sliced
1 portion of the Spice Mix (below)
100ml white white
300ml chicken stock
1tbsp tomato paste
400g mixed seafood- prawns, squid, mussels and scallops (I use a bag of frozen fruits de mer)
A small bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped roughly
400g spaghetti, Bucatini or Linguine

Spice Mix:
A good grating of nutmeg
Pinch coriander seeds
1/8 tsp ground cloves
½ ground cinnamon
Pinch ground ginger
Seeds of 1 green cardamom pod
½ tsp turmeric
¼ to a ½ chilli powder (depending on taste)
Good pinch salt

In a large shallow pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and gently sauté the chopped and sliced vegetables till they are very soft- about 10 minutes. If you like, add a splash of water and put the lid on the steam them.

While this is happening, make up your spice mix, adding everying to a pestle and mortar and giving it all a good grind together.

As the vegetables are nearly ready and the pan is beginning to dry out a bit, add the wine, let it bubble, then add the stock and tomato paste. Using a hand blender, whizz the mix to make a sloppy but not runny sauce.

This is probably a good time to put your pasta on to cook, brining a large pan of water to the boil and allowing it to cook for around 7 minutes or until al dente.

Add the seafood to the pasta mix, continue to cook gently until the prawns are pink and the seafood cooked through- this might only take a minute or two so take care not to over-cook it.

Drain and serve the pasta into bowls, scatter the sauce with chopped parsley and serve up to your hungry waiting audience…

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