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Mare & Monti Barley [Sea and Mountain Barley]

By 11 Febbraio 2020 Marzo 13th, 2020 No Comments



– 350 g barley
– 1 kg mussels
– 500 g clams
– 700 g fresh octopus
– 6 prawns cleaned, deveined and shelled
– 3 tomatoes deseeded and cut into small cubes
– 3 stalks of celery cut into small strips
– 1 carrot chopped
– 3 garlic cloves - 1 crushed and 2 finely minced
– 6 basil leaves finely minced
– 1 tea cup dry white wine
– 1 bay leaf, some lemon juice
– 1 pinch of salt
– 1 pinch of black pepper
– coarse salt as required


In first place, clean the clams, preparing, in a bowl, a solution of warm water and 2 tablespoons of coarse salt for every quart of water. Place the clams in a plastic container and shake 3 or 4 times to draw out any remaining sand. If you find a clam that has released sand, toss it out. Rinse the clams then place them in a large container, so they do not overlap one another. Cover completely with the previously prepared salt-water solution. Soak the clams for ab. 40 minutes, then drain and rinse thoroughly. Meanwhile, fill a pot with abundant salted water and cook the barley for ab. 40 minutes. Once cooked, rinse the barley under running cold water, drain and set it aside in a terrine. Then, place the carrot, a stalk of celery and a bay leaf into a big pot of water, bring to boil, then soak the octopus and let it cook over medium flame for ab. 40 minutes. As soon as the thicker part of the octopus has softened, let it cool in its own cooking water, then medium dice it. While octopus and barley cool, eliminate the mussels’ beard, by pulling on it using small, precise movements and rinse them under running water while scraping the shell with a knife. Then, in a large pan, sauté the mussels with white wine and the crushed garlic, immediately cover the pan with the lid. Cook with the lid on for 5 minutes. Shake the pan once or twice during cooking, with the lid still on, to distribute the mussels. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and check the mussels. At this point, nearly all the mussels should be open so that they can be shelled and set aside with barley and octopus. Soak the prawns in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drain and let them cool. Rinse the clams and open them by using the same method previously utilised for mussels. In the meantime, place the tomatoes and the celery in a dish with a pinch of salt. Right after, in a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together; dressing them with generous EVO, the remaining garlic, lemon juice, basil leaves, salt and pepper to taste. Let the dish rest 1 hour before serving. Serve it in bowls or in wide mouth wine glasses.