Uniworld® Boutique River Cruise Collection introduces a new itinerary for 2013 in the historical seat of Western culture, the birthplace of the European Renaissance, and the home of some of the most exquisite art and architecture on earth: Italy.
The wine and food alone are worth the trip, but Ital offers so much more. Travel from Venice to Rome on the 13 day Splendors of Italy. Sun-drenched vineyards, the poetry of Dante, gondolas on the canals of Venice, Romeo & Juliet-Italy is a destination offering something for everyone.
You can start preparing for an Italian epicurean adventure with this exclusive “Italian Touch” recipe from Uniworld’s Culinary Director, Bernhard Zorn, who has earned the prestigious title of Global Master Chef from the World Association of Chefs Societies after over 30 years of culinary experience.
LINGUINE PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI & VONGOLE
Large garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pure olive oil
4 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds,) sliced into 1/8 inch thick rounds
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
32 little neck clams (about 3 1/2 pounds,) washed
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper (chili) flakes, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
12 ounces linguine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Lightly crush the garlic cloves and heat with both oils in a large nonreactive sauté pan over medium heat until they start to sizzle. Adjust the heat so the garlic continues to cook evenly in the oil, releasing its own essential oils, and softens but does not brown for about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and carefully blend with the oil. Season with salt.
Continue to cook slowly, stirring from time to time, until the squash is completely softened and starts to break apart but does not brown for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let rest in the oil for 2 hours. Pour into a fine-mesh strainer, reserving the zucchini and oil separately. Keep the same pan, without cleaning, to cook the clams.
Heat the zucchini oil in the pan over medium heat until it starts to sizzle. Add the clams, cover the pan, and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook the clams, gently shaking the pan from time to time, until they start to open for 5 to 6 minutes. Cooking time will vary, depending on the size of the clams and the thickness of the shells. Add the reserved zucchini, hot pepper flakes, and parsley. Gently stir with the clams. Set aside.
Boil the linguine in an abundant amount of salted water until done to taste. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining the linguine, adding a little of the pasta water so that the zucchini and pan liquid coat the pasta like a sauce.
Transfer to a warm serving platter or individual pasta bowls. Start with the pasta, then top with the clams and zucchini. Serve immediately-with extra hot pepper flakes on the side.
If you are considering an epicurean adventure river cruise in Italy, please feel free to send me an email or call me so we can discuss your vacation plans in detail.
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