A simple fish dish with a surprising twist
Paul Harwood gained experience travelling and worked in Australia and Asia before coming back to the Glendorgal in Newquay. With maturity and experience it was inevitable that thoughts would turn to opening his own restaurant. Paul Harwood’s dream location had to be at Fistral, the home of surfing and one of the wild west coast’s most iconic beaches.
Lease in hand he set about designing the Fish House down to the last screw, and it’s the same attention to detail that goes into the menu. Paul has built a kitchen and a dining experience where he can control every detail of every plate. “I need things to be right”, Paul tells me. “The guy that installed my kitchen said to me I cant wait for you to open, you've been the biggest nightmare customer I've ever had!”
For his demonstration at this year’s festival Paul will be making seafood linguine with Bottarga. This classic seafood dish includes cod, shellfish, prawns and squid with a sauce made from vine tomatoes chilli, garlic and extra virgin olive oil.
The twist comes from the bottarga. Paul explained why he believes this ingredient is worth its £100 per kilo price tag: “This is an ingredient I use that makes this dish really special, it takes it away from being a normal seafood dish. Bottarga is salted grey mullet roe, it’s very expensive but it transforms the dish when I grate it over at the end.
"In chef terms it’s like caviar or truffle. If you have a really good seafood dish you turn it into a great dish with bottarga.
"To make it they take the roe sacks from grey mullet and massage them to make sure they have no air bubbles, then they salt it for two weeks and cover it in beeswax to preserve it. You use it like parmesan and grate it over the finished plate. (Boggarga is available online)
So how do you prepare this dish? Paul’s first tip is, as ever, always use the best ingredients you can get, Paul explained: “I’m using tomatoes on the vine, chilli, squid, prawns and cod. Half-cook the linguini so that you just need to flash cook it at the end, that way your pasta will be as perfect as the rest of the dish. Make sure to cook the linguini in a large pan with lots of boiling water and salt.
“Chop up the vine tomatoes and then squash the juice from them into the pan before dropping in the pulp, this helps give the right texture. Add a good measure of extra virgin olive oil and your chilli and garlic. The olive oil garlic and chilli make a really good marriage and they give off something really special, you can smell it as you cook. Add your seafood to the hot oil and rest of the ingredients and a little white wine to give background.
“We are aiming to make a sauce here that clings to the pasta, not a runny sauce so we cook out the surplus water before we add the linguini. At the last minute flash cook your linguini, carefully strain off the water and add to the pan with the rest of the ingredients and work the mixture together carefully.
“Transfer onto a plate and add a drizzle of olive oil. I pick out the prawns and add those on top for presentation plus a pinch of flat leaf parsley. Then grate over a little of the bottarga.