A light and fresh dish for warm spring evenings
Scottish langoustines are equally delicious boiled or grilled. In this recipe, I simply boil them until just cooked, peel carefully to keep as much of the meat as possible, and then use the pile of shells to make a deep, flavourful bisque sauce for the fresh linguine.
Monk’s beard is similar to samphire, and is grown only for about five weeks of the year in Tuscany. When very young you can use it raw in salads, or lightly steam and dress with a little extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
800g raw Scottish langoustines
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small onion, roughly chopped
½ fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
½ thumb sized piece of ginger, roughly sliced
A pinch of chilli flakes
1 tsp peppercorns (pink or black)
500ml fish stock, hot
1 tin coconut paste
500g fresh linguine
80g monk’s beard or samphire
Extra virgin olive oil
3 spring onions, finely sliced
Bring a large pan of water, along with 2 heaped tsp sea salt (enough to make the water as salty as the sea), to the boil. Add the langoustines and boil for 2-3 mins, until the flesh is no longer translucent. You may need to boil them in batches, as it’s important not to crowd the pot.
Drain the langoustines and when cool to touch, remove the heads and squeeze the shell so that you can easily peel them. Chill the peeled langoustines and keep the heads and shells to make a bisque sauce.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and soften the onions, celery and fennel for a few mins before adding the ginger, chilli flakes, peppercorns and then the langoustine heads and shells.
After 1 min or so, deglaze the pan with the pernod before adding the hot fish stock. Bring back to the boil and then lower to a gentle simmer for about 1 hour, until the liquid has reduced by half, removing any impurities that come to the surface with a slotted spoon. Stir in the coconut paste, and taste for seasoning.
Bring another pan of water to the boil and add the linguine, give a stir and reduce the heat a little to a good simmer until cooked, usually 5-6 mins. Drain and return to the pan.
Steam the monk’s beard or samphire until tender, then add a little extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
Stir the langoustine sauce into the pasta until evenly coated. Add the peeled langoustines and monk’s beard and gently stir through before serving in bowls.
Top the pasta with plenty of spring onion.
Recipe: Nicole Pisani
Images: Regula Ysewijn