Intro: FRUTTI Di MARE (FRUIT OF THE SEA)
One of my favorite dishes, this recipe has lots of options. You can use almost any combination of shellfish, bivalves, or mollusk that you like, or leave out the ones you don't like. I know that many people are turned off by the site of squid or octopus tentacles in their food, but - believe me - they are tasty and full of protein! Frutti di Mare, an Italian delicacy, is often served raw on a bed of ice with slices of lemon but you should only use the freshest raw seafood available consequently I preferred to prepare my "fruit of the sea" in a rich garlic-tomato sauce and the frozen Specially Selected Mussels that I purchased at Aldi provided an excellent basis for this recipe.
Step 1: INGREDIENTS (4 Servings)
- 1/2 pound raw shrimp (these were really small, 1/2 lb = 20 shrimp), shelled & deveined.
- 6 ounces cleaned raw squid tubes and tentacles (also small, about 6 tubes and a couple of palm fulls of tentacles).
- 1 16 ounce package frozen mussels in tomato-garlic sauce (I used Specially Selected brand from Aldi).
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) low sodium or no salt added petite diced tomatoes
- 1/4 large onion, diced.
- 2 cloves garlic, diced (optional)
- 2 TBS fresh basil leaves, chopped.
- 1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- 2 teaspoons dried Oregano.
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional).
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (or *2 anchovy fillets).
- 1/2 cup good white wine (I used Concha y Toro Frontera Chardonnay)
- 8 ounces dry pasta of your choice (spaghetti, or any shape; I used Ronzoni Ziti Rigati No. 1)
- *NOTE: If you use anchovy fillets in stead of paste, mash the fillets into the olive oil with the back of a wooden spoon and saute along with the onions.
Step 2: PREPARATION
- Dice onion & garlic and set aside.
- Mix oregano and red pepper flakes together and set aside.
- Pour out 1/2 cup white wine and set aside.
- Although you can use the petite diced tomatoes right out of the can, I like to mash them up a little more with a potato masher; then set aside.
- Chop the basil and set aside.
This is a good time to prepare your pasta before continuing:
- Follow the package instructions for the type of pasta you are using and allow to cook to AL dente.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the Calamari:
- Rinse the squid tubes and tentacles; pat dry with paper towels, then slice the tubes into rings (about 1/2" rings) just before you begin cooking the recipe.
Step 3: INSTRUCTIONS
- Heat 1 TBS of EVOO in a heavy non-stick pan or cast iron skillet (my choice) over medium heat.
- When oil is hot, add diced onion and saute until soft or slightly translucent (about 5 to 7 minutes). (This is where you add the anchovy fillets if you are using them instead of the paste).
- Add garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes if using, and anchovy paste. Saute for another minute or 2 (don't let the garlic brown).
- Add the wine and tomatoes; mix thoroughly, then increase the temperature to medium-high. Add the Calamari tentacles (just the tentacles) and the frozen mussels (be sure to remove them from the plastic pouch before placing them in the pan). Cover & cook for about 3 minutes.
- Reduce heat back to medium; add the shrimp and Squid rings and the chopped basil; recover and cook 3 or 4 more minutes, or until shrimp have turned pink (the mussels should all be open now).
- Remove pan from heat and prepare to serve (see next step).
Step 4: TIME TO EAT . . .
Top a plate of pasta with a healthy serving of Frutti di Mare, and Mangiare e gustare! (That pretty green drink is a Sour Apple Highball on the rocks)!
Step 5: NUTRITION
I have estimated the nutritional value of this recipe to the best of my ability using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Analyzer. Just click on the image to enlarge it.
(I have estimated the nutritional value based on this recipe producing 4 servings. If you are big eaters, you might only get 3 full servings. The estimated calories per serving based on 3 servings would increase to about 568 calories).