Orecchiette with chorizo, scallops, broad beans, coconut & black vinegar

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Preparation info

  • For

    6

    as a generous starter
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey

Fusion

By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

Orecchiette are lovely ear-shaped pasta originating from Puglia in the heel of Southern Italy. I must admit I used to think they were more like belly buttons than ears, but then it’s tortellini that have that anatomical honour - must be that I have a funny-shaped belly button. Whatever, I have to say that they’re one of my favourite wheat-based pastas as I love the wav that they hold sauce in their cavity and they are usually quite firm to the bite and chewy. They’re mostly produced in smaller artisan ‘factories’ rather than being one of the many mass-produced long pastas such as spaghetti or fettuccine. Here I mix them up with lovely spicy Spanish chorizo, aromatic Chinese black vinegar, rich scallops and coconut milk and crunchy broad beans. It’s a delicious combination and one that seems quite simple to get to, once you’ve done the shopping.

Ingredients

  • 250 g spicy cooking chorizo, sliced into 5-mm rounds
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) black vinegar (or sherry vinegar or chardonnay vinegar)
  • 250 g podded broad beans
  • 360 g dried orecchiette
  • 8-12 scallops (depending on their size)
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • a handful of coriander

Method

Bring a pot of water to the boil and add 1 Tablespoon of salt.

Meanwhile, heat up a pan and add the chorizo and half the olive oil and fry for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the fat begins to render from the chorizo.

Add the onion and garlic and continue to cook over a moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the onion caramelises. Add the vinegar to the pot and cook until evaporated then take from the heat.

Add the broad beans to the boiling water and cook for a minute, then remove them with a sieve and refresh under cold water. Hull or peel them if they’re larger than your small fingernail, as the skins from larger ones can make them a little bitter.

Add the orecchiette to the boiling water and cook until a little softer than al dente - about 8-14 minutes depending on your brand of pasta.

While that’s cooking, heat up a frying-pan over a high heat. Slice the scallops into 2-3 discs each, depending on the size of them, making sure to keep the coral intact. Gently toss with the remaining oil and a little salt and pepper. Place in the hot pan and colour briefly on both sides, making sure you don’t overcook them. Tip from the pan onto a warm plate. Add the chorizo mixture to the pan along with the coconut milk and bring to the boil, then cook to reduce by half. Return the scallops and broad beans to the mixture and turn the heat off.

Drain the pasta and tip into a large warmed serving bowl, then tip the chorizo mixture on top and gently toss it all together before serving in warmed bowls. Tear the coriander up and scatter it over the top and serve piping hot.