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Appetizers, Fish and Shellfish, Mains

Pea budino with squid and clam ragu

Pea budino with squid and clam ragu
Los Angeles Times

Technically, it's just pudding. But mention the word budino to an Italian chef and eyes light up, chattering hands dance through the air and unabashed creativity is unfurled. "Budino is BUDINO! Its big flavor hits your palate at once, so ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes | Serves 8

Pea budino

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen peas (not thawed)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup loosely packed finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Step 1In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot and saute until transparent, about 2 minutes. Add the peas, one-half teaspoon salt, one-half teaspoon pepper and one-half cup water. Cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes.

Step 2Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a blender, puree the peas, milk, cream, eggs and grated cheese.

Step 3Meanwhile, butter 8 (3- to 4-ounce) ramekins. Divide the pea mixture among the 8 ramekins. Place the ramekins into a (9-by-13-inch) baking pan with at least 1 inch space between ramekins; add about 4 cups boiling water, filling to halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Step 4Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the baking pan halfway through, until a knife inserted into the custard emerges cleanly.

Ragu and assembly

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 30 Manila clams
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 7 ounces fresh squid tubes, roughly chopped into strips
  • Pinch red chile flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

Step 1In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the wine and clams. Cover and steam until the clams open, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Step 2In a medium saute pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the squid, red chile flakes, parsley, pepper and clams with their cooking liquid (about 1 1/3 cup). Saute until just cooked through, about 1 minute.

Step 3Using a slotted spoon, remove the squid and clams from the pan and reserve. Continue to cook the sauce, reducing the liquid by half (to three-fourths cup), then remove from heat. Remove and discard the clam shells. Return the clams and squid to the sauce; toss and reheat briefly. Remove the garlic; adjust seasoning.

Step 4To serve, run a knife around edge of each ramekin and unmold onto a serving plate. Spoon an equal amount of ragu on top of each.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by chef Nicola Mastronardi of Vincenti Ristorante. To make up to two days ahead, bake until center is lightly set, refrigerate. Heat in a hot water bath in the oven.

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