Order this dish in an Italian restaurant away from the sea, and you will undoubtedly get a jar of ghastly decomposing seafood kept in rancid soya oil. On the other hand order it in Venice or in any of the good seafood restaurants dotted around Italy’s long coastline, and you will get something quite wonderful, a feast of plainly cooked fresh shellfish and molluscs, all served separately, with possibly a little mayonnaise. I suggest if you want to prepare something like this then don’t serve it as a starter but make it the central feature of a summer lunch.
© 1996 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.