A summer dish with a Mediterranean flavor
Our culinary journey makes a stop in the warm southern islands: today we are in the beautiful Sardinia in search of appetizing specialties.
The cuisine of this region is varied because it is characterized by both land and sea dishes. But with the heat that looms, the desire for fresh and summer dishes is increasing.
This is why our choice is based on a recipe with simple ingredients and a Mediterranean flavor. What makes it unique is the presence of a special product, the bottarga, recognized as the caviar of our seas!
It is precisely in the beautiful Sardinia that this ingredients finds its ideal habitat, thanks to the perfect climatic conditions of the island.
Buttarikh: the Mediterranean Caviar
The bottarga, from the Arab buttarikh (salted fish roe), is a very valuable food and appreciated by lovers of intense flavors.
The history of this food follows that of the Mediterranean fishermen who for centuries have been preparing and nourishing themselves with this delicacy, perfect to be preserved during excursions in the open sea.
The bottarga is obtained from the ovary of mullet, tuna, ling or swordfish. The bag is pressed, salted and dried for long periods - from four to six months.
In Sardinia, the first two varieties are mainly produced: tuna and mullet. The first characteristic that allows us to distinguish them is the color: the first is more pink, the second has a more amber color.
The flavor instead of tuna is more decisive - and also the most loved - while that of the mullet variety is more delicate.
Present among the products P. A. T. (Typical Food Products), from an ingredient of poor cooking, the bottarga has become a protagonist of the haute cuisine. A versatile dish that can be cooked in different ways: served in slices or grated, combined with both first and second courses.
Clam to clam
At the base of this recipe there is a selection of fresh and tasty raw materials, such as clams. In Italy the main variants of this mollusk are three: the breeding clams, the clams caught and the lupins.
The first are characterized by a thick knurling and a color ranging from pink to gray. The second, more sought after, are distinguished by the size of the siphons or horns, in the bred specimens they are almost united in a single horn and in those fished they are long and well separated.
The common clam instead, called lupine, has a smooth and striated shell, they are smaller, but at the same time they are very tasty and poor in sand.
For our dish we chose the true variety caught because it has juicy and sweet meats, perfect to be enhanced by the sapid taste of the bottarga.
To recognize them it is necessary to verify that they are alive at the time of purchase with the shell tightly closed or slightly open.
500 g clams
grated mullet bottarga to taste
1 clove garlic
400 g cherry tomatoes
Antonio Amato extra virgin olive oil to taste
salt to taste
parsley to taste
Let the clams rest in a bowl with plenty of water for at least three hours to remove the sand contained in them.
Pour a drizzle of oil into a pan and sauté a clove of garlic, add the clams and let them cook in the covered pan to open and finally add the chopped tomatoes.
Meanwhile we cook the Antonio Amato Potato Chicche in salted water and as soon as we rise to the surface we drain them.
We combine the Potato Chicche with the clams and their cooking juices and let them cook in the pan, mixing everything well.
Distribute the Potato Chicche on the plate and finish the recipe with a nice grated bottarga.
Chef Pasquale Torrente's recipe
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