Simple Italy is a blog that I follow that feeds my inner Italian. It is no secret that we love Italian food, but Spaghetti Al Farouk is not the usual Italian fare.
Curry, ginger, and thyme hint of cuisine farther east of the Abruzzo coastline, which the story behind this dish bears out.
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Domenica describes this dish in this way, “The platter that came to the table was alive with color—deep yellow from the curry and saffron, and bright orange and red from the shellfish, with splashes of glossy black from the mussel shells. The sauce was rich, spicy, and earthy; the seafood was briny and sweet.”
Oh boy, does it! It’s a gorgeous dish that awakens the taste buds and worthy of any celebration.
Spaghetti Al Farouk
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large sweet onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large pinch saffron threads rubbed or ground to a powder
- 5 teaspoons curry powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 12 mussels well-scrubbed and debearded if necessary
- 16 large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 6 ounces frozen shelled cooked langoustine tails or more shrimp and mussels
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt generously.
- In a frying pan large enough to hold all of the seafood, warm the olive oil and butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted and begins to sizzle, add the onion, and stir to coat with the oil and butter. Sauté, stirring frequently, for about 7 minutes until the onion is softened but not browned. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the saffron, curry powder, ginger, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and a generous grind of pepper, taking care to incorporate all of the herbs and spices. Stir in the lemon juice, raise the heat to medium-high, and pour in the wine. Let the sauce simmer briskly for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the cream. Bring the sauce back to a very gentle simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water, stir to separate the noodles, and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until al dente. If the pasta water is not yet boiling, reduce the heat under the sauce to low and wait until the pasta water boils. Once the pasta is in the water, proceed with finishing the sauce.
- Add the mussels, shrimp/prawns, and langoustine tails to the simmering sauce, cover, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the mussels open, the shrimp/prawns are just cooked through, and the langoustine tails are heated through. Discard any mussels that did not open.
- Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water. If the frying pan is large enough to contain both the pasta and the sauce, add the pasta to the frying pan and gently toss the pasta and sauce to combine thoroughly, adding a splash or two of the cooking water if necessary to loosen the sauce. If the frying pan is not large enough, return the pasta to the pot, add about two-thirds of the sauce, toss to combine thoroughly, and then top with the remaining sauce when serving.
- Transfer the dressed pasta to a warmed serving bowl or shallow individual bowls. Serve immediately.