Mare e Monti con Salsa Verde
The literal translation of Mare e Monti is sea and mountains, but you and I know it as surf and turf. Mare e Monti is also the name of a pasta dish including shrimp and mushrooms. This romantic dinner for two kicks off my Italian Week! I plan to showcase some of my best Italian dishes all week long. This dinner includes Shrimp Anisette and Steak with Salsa Verde, an Italian condiment for meats and fish, not to be confused with green salsa using tomatillos.
For the Shrimp:
- 6 large shrimp, shelled with the tails left on
- 2 T. Anisette, an anise flavored Italian liqueur (substitute Pernod if you can’t find Anisette)
- zest of one orange
- 2 T. olive oil, plus more for cooking
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- pinch of salt and pepper
Mix together the Anisette, orange zest, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Marinate 2-6 hours. Thread onto skewers. Heat a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a skillet to medium high heat. Cook the shrimp for one minute on each side, or until the shells are completely pink and the marinade begins to caramelize.
For the Salsa Verde:
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 T. capers, rinsed
- 2 anchovy filets, rinsed
- 1/2 C. flat leaf parsley, chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1/3 C. olive oil
- salt and pepper
Please don’t let the anchovy scare you off! They add a special deep salty flavor without being fishy. On your cutting board, mince and smash the garlic, capers, and anchovies to make a coarse paste. Put the paste into a bowl and mix together with the parsley, lemon zest, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Make this early in the day, or at least 1 hour ahead and let it sit on the counter to allow the flavors to develop.
For the Steak:
I chose a ribeye for this, but I would cook pretty much any steak using this method:
- 1 large ribeye, about 1 1/2 lbs.
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
About 30 minutes before you plan to eat, remove the steak from the fridge and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Let the steak come to room temperature on the counter. In a large skillet (not nonstick) heat about 1 T. olive oil to medium high. Place the steak in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side for medium rare. Remove to a cutting board and allow the steak to rest for at least 5-10 minutes, tented with foil. Serve with the salsa verde.
We don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s Day, but for some reason this year we were in the spirit. For dessert I made mini blackberry deep dish pies (recipe to follow another time) and I was surprised to get a gift from my husband! He brought me a beautiful new All Clad (sigh) steamer basket. What a man! Happy Valentine’s Day.