Recently I had had lunch with a friend at Local 360. This is how Local 360 describes itself:
Local 360 is a sustainable restaurant and food producer, based in the heart of downtown at the corner of 1st and Bell. Our emphasis is on local sourcing, with the majority of it falling within a 360 mile radius of Seattle.
We ordered the special there: chicken fried steak with an egg over grits. It was excellent. A bit on the not-so-light lunch side of things, but the chicken was moist and flavorful. I’ll have to visit for dinner.
My friend Claudio suggested to grab lunch at this lunch spot called Il Corvo. It’s right behind the market down the steps.
He said he was sharing space with the gelateria Procopio – which I found a bit mediocre the couple of times I ate gelato there.
Well, il Corvo definitely makes it a worthy spot now. They make pasta by hand every morning and serve a few different dishes every day.
The quality was very good and the price is good as well. It’s a 10-15 dollar lunch depending on whether you get some wine, an appetizer, etc. great lunch portion.
I will definitely go back. It’s only a few minutes from our office and it has a nice characteristic vibe. Busy but now crowded.
Pasta with clams is a great all year around dish. It is easy to prepare, but it require good execution.
- 1 pound of clams
- 1/2 pound of linguini (see it on Amazon)
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- a clove of garlic
- Salt, pepper
- About a quarter of a thai chili pepper (optional – note that you can use chili flakes)
- italian parsley (optional)
- one once of white wine
Step #0 – Start boiling plenty of water in a pot. This dish is actually really quick, by the time you get the sauce going you should have the pasta cooking. I usually start making the sauce as the water starts boiling and I put the pasta in.
Step #1 – In a deeper pan throw in olive oil, chopped garlic and the clams. Cook it over medium heat. After a few minutes the clams will start opening up and release water. Here’s a quick tip: take some of the water released by the clam and set it aside, it will be useful later to make sure that the sauce does not get too dry.
Step #2 – After you save some of the water add the white wine and let it reduce for couple of minutes. Season with pepper/salt.
Step #3 – You are about done with the sauce. This is where you need to make a judgement call on how how dry the sauce is. If it seems a little dry add some of the clams’ water you saved. If you do so, make sure you cook it for about a minute. The pasta should be done by now and it’s time to blend. Add the parsley, the chilli flakes and extra pepper.
Step #4 – You are done. Time to plate!
I was at the Metropolitan Market looking for a dinner inspiration and saw that they had lobster tails. H likes pasta really spicy, so I decided to make a pasta alla “Fra’ Diavola”. There are different ways to make this pasta and some require way too much work for my taste. I like a specific variation that is simpler to make and less prone to mistakes. I had a package of pasta called “bucatini”. This is a very common type in Italy, but a bit more difficult to find here. Think of it as a bit larger spaghetti. No worries though, if you don’t find bucatini you can use spaghetti or penne.
Here’re the ingredients for two people (about 1/2 poung of pasta):
two small lobster tails (or two big ones – nobody will complain about too much lobster!)
couple of fresh tomatoes
one can of crushed tomatoes
shallots (although onion and garlic would work as well)
half glass of white wine (the same that you’d be serving)
parsley, pepper, salt. extra virgin olive oil
spicy peppers (i like the thai ones…fresh is way better than the dried ones).
It’s not super quick, but it should take about 25mins for the sauce to be ready.
Step zero: cut the lobster tails in chunks of about one inch each. In a different pot start boiling water.
Step one: in a pan over medium heat add three tablespoon olive oil and the shallots. When the shallots turn translucent add the lobster chunks. Let the lobster cook (changing sides every couple of minutes) until the shell turns red. At this point add the white wine, let reduce for a minute and add fresh tomatoes (chopped).
Step two: as the tomatoes start breaking down add the the crushed tomatoes. I used a small can for two people. This dish is not supposed to be overly saucy. This is also the time to spice up the sauce – add the spicy peppers, salt, black pepper and if you want a bit of other spices. This is also a good time of start cooking the pasta in the boiling water (don’t forget to add salt). This is how my sauce was looking at this point:
Step 3: as the sauce starts boiling again lower the heat to medium/low and let it cook until the pasta is ready (about 10-15mins). Drain the pasta (it should be al dente) and mix it with the sauce. Cook together for about a minute.
Step 4: you’re done! Plate the pasta and serve it.