I often cook for my better (worse?) half on Friday Nights (sometimes) Sunday nights (often) as her job keeps her busy on weekends. As she is a pasta addict, I end up preparing some one every two meals. After a hard day’s work she is pretty happy with this recipe as it leaves me with plenty of improvisation according to the season and the market!
As for measures and proportions, I will leave it to your imagination, although a good observation of the picture should be a good enough guide for you! The plate pictured above was one serving.
Prepare or choose a dressing for the spaghetti. I usually use soft Dijon Mustard (with or without the seeds), Xeres vinegar, hazelnut oil (or walnut oil), salt, pepper and a few baies roses/dry pink peppercorns. Naturally, olive oil, wine vinegar, soft mustard, salt and pepper is fine, too.
Boil the spaghetti to the consistency you prefer, drain them and hold them under running cold water for 30 seconds, shaking them well to prevent them from cooking any longer.
Drain the water energically and stir in some dressing for taste and to prevent them from sticking to each other. Leave them in a all-purpose bowl.
At the top of the picture are slightly sauteed scallops with onion confit.
To make the onion confit (can be done the day before or a few hours in advance), peel and cut 2 large onions in thin slices. Discard the “foot” (bottom core) as it is indigestible. Fry them in a pot with 100g of white butter on a medium fire. When the onion slices have become soft and translucent, add a large tablespoon of honey, a cup of red wine, a tablespoon each of Xeres vinegar and Port wine. Season with salt and white pepper (thin powder if possible). Simmer until most of the liquid has reduced. Check and add more honey if not sweet enough. A little tomato puree might help,too. Let it cool and keep it away from any heat and light source (do not leave it in the fridge as it might congeal).
Sautee the scallops with a little saｌt and lemon juice on a small amount of olive oil. As soon as they have reached a very light brown colour, take them off the fire and let them rest on a grill to get rid of excess liquids.
At the bottom of the picture are small prawns.
Take off the shell, tail and heads (discard or use them for making broth).
Make a shallow incision all along the middle of their back. Pick off the innards.
Sautee them like the scallops with a little saｌt and lemon juice on a small amount of olive oil. As soon as they have changed colour, put them to rest with the scallops.
Keeping in mind you are making two servings, cut a tablespoon each of red, yellow and orange sweet pimentos in small cubes. Fry them in olive oil without any seasoning. When soft, drop them in all-purpose bowl. Do the same with a little assortment of scallops, small shrimps and cockles (can be easily bought frozen at large supermarkets), or whatever seafood you can put your hands on. Keep in mind they ought to be of all the same approximate size (that’s a lot of “keep in mind”, isn’t it?)
When all ingredients have cooled down to room temperature and this just before you are going to serve them, toss in some finely cut fresh tomatoes (if you add them too early they leave out too much water in contact with salt!) add the pimentos and seafood in the same bowl and mix in a reasonable amount of dressing. Take half out and mix it with the spaghetti.
Place the spaghetti in the middle.
Arrange scallops interspaced with some onion confit above the spaghetti as in the picture.
Arrange sauteed prawns below as in the picture.
Add a good quantity of “baby leaves” (young leaves mixture) of your choice with rest of the veg and seafood salad and arrange on both side of the spaghetti.
Of course this is open to any kind of variations. I just hope I stimulated you into your own recipes!