Ever heard of the term capasanta? Or of Coquilles Saint Jacques?
In Toronto they are pretty affordable, delicious and meaty – never seen them this big in Italy!
Capasanta is the vernecular Italian word to indicate the tasty bivalves – scallops – that, deprived of their tender inhabitant, used to be worn on the mantle by the pilgrims travelling back from Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Capa, or cappa, means cape or cloak and santa means holy, given the purpose of the pilgrimage.
Why the capesante?
Whether it is an easy lunch, a fancy dinner or a homemade, candle-lit Valentine date, this is the dish to either impress and win (them all) or pamper your palate for a quick meal.
Capesante, scallops as many as you fancy
Butter quanto basta
Garlic powder a pinch
Parsley quanto basta
Rice 1 espresso coffee cup for each person + 1 for the pan, as my grandmother says
Mix some garlic powder, the breadcrumbs and some salt in a bowl.
Bread the scallops in this mix and place them in the shells (or an ovenproof plate) with a walnut of butter and parsley.
Preheat the oven to 200 °C / 400 °F.
Cook the capesante in the oven for no longer than 15 minutes. In the meantime, you are going to cook the rice to be paired with the scallops.
How to cook and place the rice
I usually slightly overcook the rice to make it more sticky. Strain it, add a few drops of lemon juice and some parsley.
How to place it? It’s pretty easy: take a cup, grease it, fill it with some rice and place it in the plate as in the video below.
Serving the capesante
It is time to serve these delicious bivalves to your Valentine date. Next to the little rice dome, place the shells. Add some fresh parsley, and pepper if you wish.
• Cooking is fun!
It is time to share with you some funny moments behind the scenes (or under the sea), before getting into the kitchen to prepare this tantalising dish…and happy S. Valentine to you all!