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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
800-1000 g shrimp, unpeeled
500 g mussels
500 g clams (can be replaced by mussels)
300 g squid or cuttlefish
5-6 pcs cherry tomatoes (or 100 ml tomato sauce)
3 cloves garlic
3 bulbs spring onion or 1 medium onion
30 ml white wine
Parsley leaves, fresh
Basil leaves, fresh
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
400-500 g pasta
Salt
For broth:
1 medium onion
1/2 medium carrot, optional
1/2 celery root, optional
100 ml white wine
Spaghetti allo scoglio/ai frutti di mare – Sicilian Seafood Pasta

Spaghetti allo scoglio/ai frutti di mare – Sicilian Seafood Pasta

Features:
  • Dairy-Free
  • Vegetarian
Cuisine:
  • 80
  • Serves 4
  • Medium

Ingredients

  • 800-1000 g shrimp, unpeeled

  • 500 g mussels

  • 500 g clams (can be replaced by mussels)

  • 300 g squid or cuttlefish

  • 5-6 pcs cherry tomatoes (or 100 ml tomato sauce)

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 3 bulbs spring onion or 1 medium onion

  • 30 ml white wine

  • Parsley leaves, fresh

  • Basil leaves, fresh

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Olive oil

  • 400-500 g pasta

  • Salt

  • For broth:

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1/2 medium carrot, optional

  • 1/2 celery root, optional

  • 100 ml white wine

Directions

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Of course, the best seafood dishes are cooked somewhere near the sea or the ocean. I learned to cook this seafood pasta on a trip to Sicily. Having tasted seafood pasta in coastal restaurants, I was curious about what ingredient gives it such a rich flavor and what makes the sauce red (I was sure it was tomatoes, but it turned out that they had nothing to do with it). So, I asked Loredana, a chef and the owner of a Catanese cooking school, to teach me how to cook seafood pasta. I even sent her a photo of the restaurant dish to show her what exactly I wanted.

We cooked a wonderful seafood sauce to serve with pasta. That’s the recipe I want to share with you.

On Sicily this dish is called Spaghetti allo scoglio – pasta with clams, or more generally – Spaghetti ai frutti di mare.

Tips:

To achieve an intense flavor, you will need unpeeled shrimp with heads unseparated (most delicious broth is cooked from shrimp shells – this is a base for the sauce) and preferably fresh (raw) mussels and/or other clams, squid and cuttlefish. You may use frozen seafood as well.

Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to recreate the dish in Wien as there are only frozen and already cleaned and peeled seafood, which is pretty convenient, but not exactly what is needed.

So, should you come across unpeeled mussels and shrimp with heads – buy them immediately to cook this dish. You won’t regret it!

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Steps

1
Done

Start with preparing the seafood.

Defrosting. If you use frozen seafood you should defrost them beforehand in the fridge. Important! Don’t defrost the seafood at room temperature as some defrosted parts can be spoiled. Just transfer the seafood from the freezer to the fridge.

2
Done

Prepare the mussels. Pull off the beard and scrape any barnacles off using a still scrubber or a sponge. The mussels should be sparkly clean. If there are any open mussels, just tap the shell, and if it closes it’s good to eat, if not – discard them. Rinse the mussels and place them into a bowl. Cover with a wet towel and place in the fridge. The can be kept refrigerated like that up to 1 day, but it is better to use them immediately after buying.

Prepare the clams, scrub them if needed, rinse and place covered with a wet towel in the fridge.

3
Done

Peel the shrimp. Remove the heads and set them aside. Peel the shells away from the body and also set them aside. Devein the shrimp by using the tip of a knife. Discard the veins.

Now we have the bowl of the heads and shells and the bowl of the shrimp itself. Cover the shrimp with plastic wrap and put in the fridge. Rinse the heads and shells – you will need them for the broth.

4
Done

Cook the sauce base - the broth.

Peel the onions and cut into large pieces. Peel the carrots and celery and cut them into large pieces.

5
Done

In a sauté pan, heat 3 tbsp olive oil. Add the onions and cook for about 2 min until the edges are transparent. Add the carrot and celery, cook together for 1-2 min.

6
Done

Add the heads and shells and cook together stirring occasionally. Press the heads slightly for the juices to escape. Cook until the liquid is evaporated.

7
Done

As soon as the liquid is evaporated, add 100 ml white wine and salt. Let it cook for 1-3 min for the alcohol to evaporate. Then add enough cold water to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to simmer and cook for about 30-40 min. You may add some basil. At this point the broth will be reddish because of the heads and shells’ red pigment that releases while cooking. This is what makes the sauce red, not tomatoes… :)

8
Done

Meanwhile prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Prepare the mussels. Heat a medium sized pan (don’t use a big one as juices will evaporate too soon) with lid over medium or high heat. Add the mussels and cook covered for about 2-3 min. Check if all the mussels have opened. If some are still closed, cover again and cook for another minute. As soon as all the mussels have opened, remove from heat. Drain and reserve the liquid. Place the mussels into the other bowl and let chill. Separate the mussels from their clams. Discard the closed mussels. Reserve a few mussels unseparated for serving. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Repeat with the rest of the clams. Remember to reserve the liquid and some clams for serving. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

9
Done

Prepare the squid (or cuttlefish).

Peel the cherry tomatoes: place them into boiling water for 30 sec. Take them out, chill a bit and peel. Cut into halves.

10
Done

The squid is usually already cleaned, so cut into thin circles or semi-circles.

11
Done

The spring onion bulbs (or an onion) chop finely. In a medium sized pan or a saucepan heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Cook the onion or the bulbs over low/medium heat until transparent. Add half clove garlic and cook together for a while.

12
Done

Add the squid and cook everything together for 30 sec. Add 30 ml white wine. Let boil for 1 min for the alcohol to evaporate. Add cherry tomatoes, 70-100 ml broth or water, salt. Cover and cook for about 15-20 min over low heat.

13
Done

The broth should be done by this time. Drain it using a cheesecloth. Squeeze the remaining liquid from the heads and shells (this is what makes the broth so fragrant).

14
Done

Half-cook the pasta (if package directions say 10 min, cook only 5). The pasta is going to be cooked in the sauce.

15
Done

Transfer the ingredients (except for the shrimp, they will go in the very end) to a pot: the broth, the squid together with its liquid, the mussels and the clams together with their liquids.

Bring it to a boil and add the pasta. Add salt and black pepper to your taste. Cook until the pasta is done (approx. 5 min). Add the shrimp 2 min before everything is done.

The pasta gives starch, which makes the sauce thicker. If you’d like to make the sauce even thicker, add some potato starch.

16
Done

When it is done, add some olive oil and the chopped parsley.

How to serve:

Serve piping hot. For the pasta not to chill while transferring to cool plates, warm the plates in the oven or a microvawe.

Transfer the pasta and the seafood onto serving plates, neatly arranging the mussels and clams. Pour the sauce over the dish.

How to keep:

Is not supposed to be kept.

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