The weather may be heating up but our hunger for comfort food isn't going anywhere. Wondering how to marry lightness with a desire that only carbs will curb? We looked to our friends at Belongil Beach Italian Food for advice on the matter, as they've recently reoriented their menu in anticipation of summer. Their take? Linguine Moreton Bay Bug with Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon Thyme Butter and Pistachio. Here's how to make it.
"This is a fairly simple pasta recipe, as with anything simple quality ingredients are what matters. Beautiful quality Australian bug meat, sweet cherry heirloom tomatoes and a rich pomodoro sauce."
"Then the devil is in the details. Caramelise the bug meat first, then sweat off and caramelise the aromatics and pomodoro sauce. Whipping the pasta is crucial to emulsifying the sauce into a glossy, rich consistency. Seasoning with lemon, salt, and pepper is the final step, which actually makes or breaks this dish."
- 400g fresh linguine
- 250g fresh bug meat roughly chopped (plus keep one bug whole and cut in half for the top)
- 80g butter
- 3 tbsp each: finely chopped garlic, chilli & anchovy
- 1 bunch lemon thyme
- 1 lemon
- 1 punnet cherry heirloom tomatoes, cut in half and lightly dried in the sun for a day
- 100g pomodoro sauce
- 1 bunch basil
- 50g slivered pistachios
- Salt, pepper & Alto Robust Olive Oil
- Begin by placing a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to the boil.
- While this is happening, place a fry pan on medium-high heat, add olive oil, and begin to fry off the bug meat to lightly caramelise and get those flavours in the pan. Remove the bug meat when caramelised but not cooked all the way through.
- Then add the garlic, chilli, and anchovy with a little more olive oil and continue cooking until lightly caramelised and fragrant. Turn the heat to high and add the pomodoro sauce (the key here is to fry the pomodoro off so it caramelises lightly and becomes quite rich, almost like tomato paste). Add the semi dried tomatoes and lemon thyme.
- While this is happening, you can cook your bug halves with salt, pepper, and olive oil in the oven or on a grill.
- Then cook your pasta in the boiling water for the desired amount of time. Remove the pasta from the water and add to the sauce with a few small ladles of the pasta water.
- Remove from the heat, add the butter, tear in some basil, zest the lemon, and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Whip it quite aggressively, get a bit Jamie Oliver with it, and give it a good toss. This emulsifies the sauce and makes it glossy, sticking to the pasta.
- Plate in a tight ribbon and spoon the sauce over the top. Serve with half a bug in the shell on top, finishing with the slivered pistachios and a glug of Alto Robust Olive Oil.
Don't feel like cooking? Book a table at Belongil Beach Italian Food to experience the Calamarata with Moreton Bay Bug, Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon Thyme Butter and Pistachio in person instead.
Peruse our favourite summer pasta recipes, here.