Seafood Spaghetti

A note I wrote in the back of Yukio Mishima’s The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, detailing a delicious seafood spaghetti I made for dinner Saturday night:

Start with 8 oz. bacon—cut into one inch pieces. Fry in a hot cast iron skillet (huge!) till crispy. Save the bacon for another time, e.g. a wedge salad. Reserve bacon grease in the pan. Sauté three yellow onions in the grease until translucent. Add a head of garlic (separated into cloves, peeled, cut in half), one tube anchovy paste, a half cup roughly chopped basil leaves, a half cup roughly chopped oregano, and cook briefly until leaves wilt. Add one tablespoon whole dried thyme, one tablespoon dried chervil leaves, four bay leaves, and one tablespoon dried tarragon. Drizzle olive oil over the mixture and  stir to combine over heat. Add one and a half cups clam juice and a half cup aged white wine vinegar to the hot pan. Bring to a boil. Add two fresh tomatoes, quartered, three tablespoons tomato paste, two large (maybe 32 ounce?) cans whole peeled tomatoes. Stir. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and chopping with a metal spatula to break up large pieces of tomato. Once boiling, add one teaspoon cayenne pepper, one tablespoon smoked Hungarian paprika, and one fourth cup brown sugar. Stir to combine. Decrease heat to a simmer. Once sauce reaches desired thickness, cover with tinfoil and reduce heat.

Meanwhile, steam one pound clams and remove the meat from shells—reserve. Remove one half of the sauce from the skillet and save as a base for other dishes. Cut up one pound orange roughy fillet into two inch pieces. Add the fish to sauce and increase heat slightly. Cook spaghetti in a giant pot of very salty boiling water. When the spaghetti is half-done, add one pound shrimp, shells on, to the sauce. Just before the spaghetti hits al dente, drain it and add the still wet noodles to the sauce along with the clams. Stir thoroughly to combine pasta with sauce. The shrimp should be done (shells pink) and the fish should be very flaky. Serve with a wedge salad perhaps.

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