Monday, 21 March 2011

Pasta a portuguesa

Massada de Peixe ( look for the star on the coriander leaf)  no lens trickery I promise.
I was curious when I first discovered this on t´internet.It took me a while to get my head round it. Pasta cooked in  sauce and not drained.Pasta cooked in Beer instead of water, interesting?- For sure.

This recipe is a variation on the classic Portuguese dish, Arroz Mariscos ( shellfish rice), a wet rice dish.This type of dish is extremely popular in restaurants throughout Portugal, and particularly in the Algarve. Having followed this recipe to the letter, I have to say that my personal interpretation would be to return to the original recipe of Arroz Mariscos and then apply this concept, but replace the rice with pasta cooked in beer and keep the original shellfish mixture of prawns, mussels, clams, crab, whatever. I don´t feel the white fish made a useful enough contribution to the overall flavour sensation, to give it the WOW factor.
The idea here is to make a stock as flavourful as possible for cooking the pasta in, and I like this idea. Any type of small shaped pasta can be used, though the most common is a small macaroni.
My other verdict is that any favourite personalised tomato sauce would work just as well with the fish and pasta, and a tad of cream would perhaps not go amiss either.
Cook and try before you buy into this. And the moral of this story - Dig deep into the wealth of a huge culinary heritage and don´t be scared to innovate, but at the end of the day you may come full circle and not be far from the way the original was intended to be served.Love it.

500gr firm fish on the bone (monk fish, red snapper)
1 red pepper (coarsely chopped)
1 green pepper (coarsely chopped)
1 finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic ( finely chopped)
4 ripe tomatoes
1 dried chilli
33cl beer
4 bay leaves
4tbsp olive oil
1 or 2 cups of seafood/fish stock or water
250gr small pasta shapes
1 small bunch of coriander
Salt

In a large pot, heat the olive oil then add the onion, the chillie and cook until soft. Add the garlic, stir for a minute then add the tomatoes, cook for a few minutes and finally add the peppers.
Just as the peppers begin to soften add the beer, salt and taste. Add the fish, cover and allow the fish to cook, turning if using large pieces. Take care not to overcook.
Remove the fish from the pot to a plate to cool down. Remove the bay leaves and blend with a hand blender.
Strain the cooking liquid,( I didn´t, preferring to opt for a liitle bit of  texture in the dish )
return to the pot, add stock or water and bring to boil and add the pasta. The pasta should be cooked “wet” and some sauce should remain at the end. While the pasta cooks, debone the fish and cut into large chunks.
When pasta is ready, check seasoning and add the fish, stir gently and finally add the coriander.

1 comment:

  1. oh I love the look of this dish... i'm currently so bored with pasta so this is going to make a very welcome change!

    I love the twinkle on the coriander! Very classy!

    ReplyDelete