Surf and Turf
In Italy, when people talk about ‘clams’ they are referring to bivalve molluscs of the ‘Venerupis decussata’ species, better known as ‘vongole veraci’. This mollusc is commonly found in the Mediterranean, buried in the sand of the shallow waters of sea beds or lagoons, at a maximum depth of up to 20 metres. Thanks to their availability, clams are a part of the culinary tradition of all coastal areas. The ‘Verace’ species – of the fished rather than bred variety – has an elongated shape, marked rings on the shells and a delicate, chewy texture. Clams are often used in sauces or reductions, to add an unmistakable ‘taste of the sea’ to pasta or other dishes. The pairing proposed by Chef Moreno Cedroni is both unusual and inspirational. Cedroni infuses a creamy omelet with a clam sauce, enhanced with only the finest extra virgin olive oil (one of his ‘musts’) and purple cabbage, a typically winter vegetable. The maestro suggests fermenting the cabbage, which he spices up with a dash of chili pepper.