Gnocchi di Gragnano, frutti di mare e ‘Nduja.

Gnocchi with seafood and ‘nduja

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 320 gr. dried gnocchi
  • 150 gr. clams
  • 150 gr. of mussels
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • shallot
  • parsley
  • a glass of tomato puree
  • vegetable broth
  • 30 gr. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • black peppercorns
  • 40 gr. ‘nduja


Clean maniacally mussels and clams so that it does not remain even a grain of sand in them.  After  having purged clams for few hours in fresh water, whisk them vigorously (avoiding to break them!). On a durable and bounded surface (for example the bottom of a kitchen sink), with a steel wool and the help of a box-cutter, eliminate the fine (filaments through which mussels remain adherent to rocks or submerged structures) and remove any impurities that may be present on the shells of the mussels themselves. It is important to perform these activities under running water to allow a more thorough cleaning of shellfish.
Put mussels and clams on the bottom of a saucepan with garlic, a little olive oil and parsley. Cover with a lid and cook for about 4 minutes (just the time that shellfish open). Identify the possible presence of “not good”  mollusks (those that remain closed when heated) and eliminate immediately.
Extract the seafood from the pot, put them in a bowl and filter their water. This process is important to remove any residual sand trace, and above all, and under a hygienic point of view, it provides for the removal of a greater number of toxic substances naturally present in any type of mollusk: of course, it will be lower the risk of contamination if they originate from clean seas! For filtering, use a small colander internally coated with a layer of absorbent paper or, even better, by a common hydrophilic gauze (available in pharmacies). Filter the liquid collecting it in a pot below, and put it on low heat.
In another pot, lightly fry shallot with a little olive oil, add 40 grams of ‘nduja and half a glass of tomato sauce. Once the ‘nduja has melted, cook pasta in the same sauce, as it is done for the cooking of a risotto.
After pasta has amalgamated with tomato sauce and ‘nduja, add the cooking liquid from mussels and clams and begin to stir: if this is not enough to cover the entire amount of pasta in the pan, add the hot vegetable broth, proceeding in this way throughout the cooking. Season with salt and pepper (they can also add a pinch of ‘nduja if they want to achieve a stronger flavor), cook pasta  for about 10-15 minutes, on medium heat (the time of cooking always depends on the quality of pasta), reminding to add the vegetable broth continuously, avoiding to make pasta dry. One minute before the cooking time, add seafood. Before turning off the fire, remind to check the consistency of pasta, that, must not be dry inside. In this case, add a ladle of broth and  serve in a soup plate. Adjust  with oil  and a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley. Welcome to the South, welcome in Calabria. Enjoy your meal!

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