A Little Ragout of Seafood with Fines Herbes, White Wine and Linguine

A delightful little ragout of seafood from Rick Stein. The medley of prawns, mussels, langoustines and squid are blended with simple French inspired flavours.

Introduction

I picked up the makings of this recipe from the chef on hoard the Anjodi, Louis, a Yorkshireman who has lived on the Mediterranean coast of France for seven years. He has an instinctive understanding of the local seafood cookery.

Serves 4

Ingredients

12-16 cooked langoustines or 100 g large freshly cooked peeled prawns
2 medium-sized squid, cleaned, to yield about 250 g
450g small mussels, cleaned
2 tbsp dry white wine
300 ml chicken stock
150g dried linguine
4 tbsp olive oil
25 g plain flour
Small pinch crushed dried chillies
25g butter
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
20g fines herbes leaves (parsley, tarragon, chervil and chives), finely chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Peel the langoustines if using. Cut the squid pouches across into thin rings and separate the tentacles into pairs. Set aside. Bring a large pan of well-salted water (1 teaspoon per 600 ml) to the boil.

Heat a medium-sized pan over a high heat, add the mussels and the wine, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan every now and then, until the mussels have just opened. Tip them into a colander set over a bowl to collect the cooking juices, and, when cool enough to handle, remove the meats from the shells, cover and set aside.

Pour all but the last tablespoon or two of the mussel cooking liquor (as it might be a bit gritty) into a small pan, add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly until reduced to 180 ml, then turn off the heat and keep warm.

Drop the pasta into the pan of boiling water and cook for 8-9 minutes or until al dente. Drain well, return to the pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, toss, cover and keep warm.

Season the prepared squid, toss with the flour and shake off the excess. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, half the squid and a few flakes of the dried chillies and fry over a high heat for 1 minute until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate and repeat with another tablespoon of oil, and the rest of the squid and chillies.

Now pour the mussel liquor and chicken stock reduction into the frying pan in which the squid was cooked and add the butter and the last tablespoon of olive oil. It will immediately boil. Add the tomato, garlic, fines herbes, langoustines or prawns and lemon juice and toss together very briefly until the prawns have heated through. Add the cooked mussels and squid, and toss together once more for about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from the heat so that the fish doesn’t cook any further.

Divide the ragout between 4 small, warmed soup plates and twist some of the pasta into a pile in the centre of each bowl. Serve straight away.

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