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Spaghetti with Seafood

Spaghetti with Seafood
The ancient Sicilian city of Siracusa is famous for its seafood. This mixed-seafood pasta is typical of the region.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. squid
  • 1 lb. mussels
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) whole plum tomatoes with juice, passed through a food mill or pureed in a food processor
  • Salt, to taste
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 lb. dried spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled, halved lengthwise and deveined

Directions:

To clean each squid, grasp the head and pull it and the attached innards free of the body. Cut off and discard the part below the tentacles that contains the eyes, then squeeze out and discard the beak at the base of the tentacles. Cut the tentacles in half lengthwise if large, and set aside. Rinse the body cavity with running water, removing and discarding the quill-like cartilage lodged inside. Rub off the brownish skin from the body, then cut the body crosswise into rings 1/4 inch wide. Discard any mussels that do not stay closed when gently pressed, then scrub well under cold running water and pull off and discard the beards. Set the squid and mussels aside.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add half of the garlic and the red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute to release the garlic’s fragrance. Add the tomatoes and season with salt. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and tasty, about 15 minutes. Stir in the basil. Keep warm over low heat.

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), about 12 minutes or according to the package instructions. When the pasta is 8 minutes short of being ready, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining garlic and 1/4 cup of the parsley. Sauté briefly to release the garlic’s fragrance. Add the white wine and simmer briskly for about 1 minute, then add the mussels. Cover and cook until the mussels open, about 2 minutes, then add the squid and shrimp. Stir, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Discard any mussels that did not open.

Drain the pasta and return to the warm pot. Add the tomato sauce and toss. Add the seafood and their juices and toss gently. Divide among warmed dishes. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup parsley, dividing it evenly. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Classic Pasta at Home, by Janet Fletcher (Time-Life Books, 1998).