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Bagna Càuda and Frutti di Mare on Linguini

I believe there are three kinds of people: those that can do math, and those that can’t.

Hmmmm. Alright, there are only two kinds of people: those that like lists, and those that think of a list as an oppressive yoke, whose sole purpose is to suck the pleasure out of your day by hanging over your head like the sword of Damocles. I’m not a fan of lists.

My wife likes lists. She also likes recipes. Give her a complex, multi-step recipe, and she’s in heaven.

I tend to mess up recipes. My classic blunder is to read the list of ingredients, throw them all in a skillet together, and then read the part that tells me that there is, in fact, a very crucial order for adding things.

Sometimes we find a way for our two little worlds to coincide. For the opening of the 20th Winter Olympics, we decided to make a typical Piedmontese dish, bagna càuda. (For those that don’t know, bagna càuda is hot olive oil, butter, garlic and anchovies into which you dip raw and cooked vegetables, and bread.)

We got to use a recipe to make the bagna càuda, which made my wife happy. But it makes a lot, and once you’re done dipping you’ve got a lot of oil left over that it just seems a waste to pour out. So we didn’t. And I got to play around and use it to make something completely different. Everybody’s happy.

Bagna Càuda and Frutti di Mare on Linguini

What you need:


Leftover bagna càuda

For the frutti di mare, about 1/3 pound mixed seafood per person, cut into 1″ pieces. Examples are: lobster tail, squid tubes, mahi mahi, clams, and sea scallps.

What to do with it:

Let’s make bagna càuda first. To 2 cups extra virgin olive oil, add 10 cloves of finely-minced garlic and 12 minced anchovies. Cook on low heat, stirring or whisking often, until the garlic and anchovies have mostly dissolved. Finish by stirring in about 1/2 cup butter. (This is when you place the bagna càuda into a fondue pot and dip in your veggies and bread.)

When you’re done dipping, don’t throw out the oil. When you’re ready to cook the frutti di mare(and it can be “tomorrow”), place the oil over medium high heat in a small sauce pan. Go ahead and start your linguini now.

Once your oil is heated, and your linguini almost done, drop your seafood in the oil and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not overcook.

Place the linguini in a large bowl and ladle out the frutti di mare–don’t worry about draining the oil: you’ll want some on the linguini. Toss, salt to taste, and serve. Consider a barbera wine to go with it.