To tell the truth, there’s not much I miss about Boston. Apparently, it’s been raining these all summer. Most of my friends from grad school have moved away. It’s way better to have a full time job than to be a grad student.
But I do miss local, fresh, affordable seafood. I almost crawled into the fish case at the Brighton Whole Foods when I saw what was on offer: monkfish, bluefish, red snapper, clams and mussels from Maine. I took the opportunity to make seafood linguine for Karen, my friend who mothered me through the weekend of my dissertation defense.
We started the meal with sweet, fragrant slices of cantaloupe draped with whisper-thin slices of proscuitto and figs from Russo’s. (Note: if you live in the Boston area, you must go to Russo’s in Watertown.)
I wanted to make a mock paella with the mussels and monkfish, but I couldn’t find Valencia rice and Russo’s appeared to be out of saffron. So linguine it was: fresh tomatoes, sauted with plenty of garlic and shallots, white wine, briny mussels and sweet monkfish.
It was hard to be back in Boston, but a seafood dinner with friends more than made up for all the trials.
Prosciutto with melon and figs
Mussels and monkfish with linguine
Green Beans with Shallot Viniagrette
Clafoutis of Cherries
1 lb mussels
1 lb monkfish
2.5 lbs fresh tomatoes
3 shallots, sliced finely
4 cloves garlic, 1 whole, the others minced
1.5 c. white wine
red chilie flakes
1/4 c. Italian parsley, chopped
1 lb linguine
Bring large pot of water to boil.
Rinse mussels, discarding all broken ones. Bring wine to boil in large pot. Add 1 clove of smashed garlic. Put 4-5 mussels at a time into the wine, wait until they open, then pick them up one by one with tongs, rinse with wine, and set aside. As mussels open, replace with unopened mussels.
When mussels have finished cooking, strain wine and reserve.
Blanch tomatoes in the boiling water, peel and chop. Saute shallots and garlic in olive oil. Add tomatoes, reserved wine, and salt and cook until tomatoes have broken down and sauce is thick.
Rub monkfish with salt. Add to tomato sauce and let cook 8-10 minutes on low heat. Add mussels to sauce and toss until warm.
Cook linguine until one minute short of al dente. Add pasta to sauce and cook one or two additional minutes, until pasta is done. Toss with parsley and serve.