Clinging on to summer and reminiscing about about Spanish holidays gone by. Years ago my Dad use to take me to the Balearic’s every year. We didn’t do 5 star hotels, instead we stayed in rustic Spanish farmhouses and tried to immerse ourselves in local culture. I have fond memories of Dad buying mussels from a local fish market, us washing and de- bearding them and cooking classic moules marinière together; they were so cheap to buy, but we felt like we were eating like kings. We barbecued squid and dined out at scruffy little tapas bars trying everything even if we didn’t know what it was. Here is a little nod to those lovely memories…
6 banana shallots or 2 medium onions - finely chopped
5 cloves garlic - crushed
1 tablespoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoons chilli flakes
2 tins tomatoes or passata
1 kilo mussels
8 large raw prawns 🦐
2 tablespoons or chopped parsley or any herbs you like
Start by soaking the clams and mussels in cold salty water. Change the water a couple of times. De-beared the mussels and discard any that don’t close when tapped. That goes for the clams too.
Sauté the onion until soft then add the garlic. Add the smoked paprika and chilli flakes and season generously. Easy on the salt if you are using Mediterranean shellfish (their water is much saltier!)
Stir through the tomatoes and add half a can of water. Simmer on a low heat and cook for 20 minutes. Drain the shellfish and add to the sauce. Stir and cover with a lid. Cook for 5 - 8 minutes on a medium to high heat. When the shells are open and the prawns are pink then you are ready to serve! Sprinkle with herbs and serve with crusty bread.