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Paccheri with Shellfish, Squid, and Tomatoes

Paccheri with Shellfish, Squid, and Tomatoes


  • 3 medium tomatoes, halved, seeds and cores removed
  • 12 oz. cleaned squid, bodies and tentacles separated
  • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1½ lb. small shrimp, preferably head-on, peeled, deveined, shells and heads reserved
  • 2 cups dry white wine, divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. cockles or Manila clams, scrubbed
  • 1 lb. mussels, scrubbed, debearded
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 lb. paccheri or other large tube pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce (optional)

Recipe Preparation

  • Grate tomatoes, cut side down, on the largest holes of a box grater into a medium bowl until only the skin is left. Finely chop skin and add to bowl.

  • Cut squid bodies in half lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into ½" pieces. Place in a small bowl. Cut tentacles in half crosswise; add to bowl.

  • Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Add reserved shrimp shells and heads (if using). Cook, smashing down on shells and heads, until shells are beginning to brown, 10–12 minutes. Add 1 cup wine and cook until reduced by half and alcohol aroma is gone, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook until reduced by one-third, 15–20 minutes. Let stock cool 20 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on solids, into a heatproof measuring glass (you should have about 1½ cups). Set aside.

  • Wipe out pot. Pour in remaining 3 Tbsp. oil and heat over medium. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until just golden, about 5 minutes. Add grated tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes thicken slightly and begin to stick to bottom of pot, 6–8 minutes. Add cockles, mussels, red pepper flakes, and remaining 1 cup wine. Cover pot and cook, shaking occasionally, until cockles and mussels are open, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cockles and mussels to a medium bowl, leaving behind any that have not opened. Cover pot again and cook unopened cockles and mussels another minute or so, then transfer to bowl with others. Discard any that have not opened at this point. Keep shellfish sauce warm.

  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, until just slightly under al dente, 6–8 minutes.

  • Using a heatproof measuring cup, scoop out about 1 cup pasta water. Transfer pasta to pot with sauce with a slotted spoon or mesh spider. Add reserved stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add shrimp and squid to sauce. Cook, tossing constantly and adding pasta water a splash at a time as needed, until pasta is al dente and sauce is glossy and thick enough to cling to noodles, about 5 minutes. Add fish sauce, if using, and fold in steamed cockles and mussels. Taste and season with salt if needed.

  • Transfer pasta to a platter. Top with basil and drizzle with oil.

Reviews Section

From Bon Appétit Magazine, May 2018: The Travel Issue Bon Appétit Magazine, May 2018 by Blaine Wetzel

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  • Categories: Salads Side dish Spring Vegetarian
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320 grams of paccheri or other short pasta
2 medium-sized squid
a bunch of kale
4 dried or dried tomatoes in oil
a shallot or a piece of onion
extra virgin olive oil, to taste
a clove of garlic
a small piece of chili pepper
100 ml dry white wine
Salt, to taste


Pasta with meat sauce squid and black cabbage

Clean the squid: unless you've already bought them clean, you can look at the VIDEO RECIPE of SQUIDS STUFFED dove c'è il TUTORIAL PASSO PASSO su come pulire in casa i calamari . Once the squid cleaned, noodles into strips and then into small pieces.

Peel and finely chop the onion. Also chop the tomatoes. Clean the garlic and crush slightly.

Sauté onion in a large skillet in olive oil, with a tablespoon of cold water so that colors slightly, but not burn. Add the garlic and chilli and, just slightly soffriggeranno, add the squid. Brown the high heat squid, rimuovere l'aglio e il peperoncino e aggiungere i pomodori secchi . Deglaze with white wine. When alcohol has evaporated, combine with meat sauce squid also half a glass of warm water, salt and cook covered over low heat for 30 minutes or until the squid are tender.

While the sauce is cooking squid, Clean the cabbage by removing the leaves from the stems, poi lavare accuratamente le foglie sotto l'acqua corrente e tritarle finemente al coltello . Add the chopped cabbage with meat sauce squid, cover and continue cooking over low heat for another 15 minutes or until the cabbage is tender not. When squid and cabbage are tender, taste and possibly add salt. The ragout of squid and cabbage should be thick and fragrant, if there was still too much fluid, cook uncovered for a few minutes.

Boil the pasta in salted water. Drain the pasta al dente and toss in pan with the sauce of squid and black cabbage, mantecando con un po' di acqua di cottura della pasta e un filo di olio extravergine di oliva . Serve the pasta filling the pot with plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Bon appétit!

La Calamarata from Campania!

‘La Calamarta’ is a Neapolitan recipe from Campania with calamari (squid) and calamarata pasta, a particularly appetizing pasta that resembles squid rings. I am totally hooked on this dish and make it quite often. It’s really tasty and easy to prepare because it’s based on only three basic ingredients: pasta, calamari and tomatoes. Yet, it brings all the flavor of the Mediterranean to the table. The sauce is one of the most simple you can find, but be careful. There are some rules to follow to get it really right. (go straight to recipe)

Of course, you can enrich this Neapolitan recipe with prawns, shellfish or other fish, as is sometimes done, but I prefer to stick to the original version. The secret to getting it right lies in the choice of ingredients.

The right ingredients!

The calamari for la calamarata need to be fresh and the tomatoes should ideally be Piennolo vine tomatoes. Of course getting hold of those tomatoes is difficult outside of Italy because they are grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius and are not easily found abroad. However, there are bottled or canned Piennolo tomatoes exported to USA, UK and other countries or they are available to buy online. Alternatively you can use datterini or cherry tomatoes (which are what I used this time). It’s important that they are sweet and flavourful. Large watery salad tomatoes are not good!

The right type of pasta!

The calamarata pasta needs to be slow dried and extruded using bronze dies. In other words preferably from an artisan pasta maker. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this type of pasta extruded pasta is pasta that’s forced through a die (a stamp or disc with holes shaped according to the type of pasta being made) to make the various shapes. then cut to the proper length and dried. The dough is almost always made from durum wheat, water, and salt (no egg), and the better quality pasta makers extrude their dough through bronze dies. Traditionally all pasta was made with bronze dies. As the dough is pressed through, the roughness of the holes in the all bronze dies creates a porous surface that facilitates cooking the pasta evenly, giving you a good ‘al dente’. This kind of pasta also absorbs more sauce.

Over time, manufacturers wanted to speed up the whole process for maximum profitability and replaced the bronze dies with ones lined with Teflon. These dies produce a pasta which is more yellow in colour and has a surface which actually repels the sauce, rather than absorb it!

The best artisan pasta is also dried more slowly, normally over a period of several days, and this makes it more flavorful. Commercial pasta makers usually dry at higher temperatures (70-80 C, 140-160 F)instead, and this eliminates some of the flavour. There is also black calamarata pasta (coloured with cuttle fish ink) which is delicious. I have made this recipe with just black pasta, just plain and a mix of both. I loved the look of the mixed one!

La Calamarata is simple to make!

Getting the right ingredients may be a challenge but making this dish is not. Apart from the three main ingredients I have mentioned, all you need is some olive oil, parsley, dry white wine, garlic and a red chili pepper (peperoncino).

In Naples, La calamarata is sometimes served ‘al cartoccio’, meaning the last 5 minutes of cooking take place in the oven. The pasta and sauce are mixed together and wrapped in aluminium foil or baking paper, cooked for 5 minutes in a hot oven and then served immediately. This is a great way to serve pasta when you have guests! Whichever way you serve La calamarata, I am sure you will love it!

Seafood Pasta with Shrimp and Scallops (and Garlic!)

Recipe by Christina Conte serves 4


Prepare the Scallops

Soak the scallops for 10 minutes in a brine solution (3 Tbsp Kosher salt in 16 oz water.)

Remove after 10 minutes and place on a rack to dry.

Cook the Pasta

Next, put a large pot of well salted water on to boil for the pasta. Once the pasta goes in, set a timer for 7 minutes before the pasta will be ready (according to package instructions.)

Make the Seafood Sauce

Make sure the scallops are dry. If they are not, pat them dry with a paper towel. When the timer goes off, put a large cast iron pan on high heat and add the extra virgin olive oil.

When the pan and oil are very hot, add the scallops and sear them for about 1 1/2 minutes before adding the shrimp, garlic, and parsley.

Cook for another 2 minutes before turning the scallops and shrimp, and lowering the heat a little. Next add the butter.

This seafood pasta sauce is probably the quickest sauce you can make!

Add the wine and then turn the heat down just to keep the pan warm.

You can also add some freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Add the Pasta to the Seafood Sauce

Drain the pasta, which should be ready, but reserve a cup or so of pasta water. You will only need this pasta water if you want to add some after mixing everything together. Add the pasta directly to the seafood sauce in the pan.

Stir gently to incorporate all the ingredients together. Add some of the reserved pasta water, if desired, then top with a twist of lemon in the pan.

Serve the Seafood Pasta!

Serve immediately as this seafood pasta dish is best piping hot.

This is not a fancy dish, so bring the pan to the table and serve it from there. Don’t forget some crusty bread to mop up the buttery garlic and wine sauce at the end!

I was shooting in a hurry as I had a hungry crew behind me waiting to eat this! Haha!

Another Year in Recipes

With only four days in Naples on our Italian trip earlier this month, there was no way Beloved Spouse and I could eat as many of the region’s foods and culinary specialties as we’d have liked. So we focused on – and feasted on – the many excellent kinds of fresh fish and shellfish available there. The beautiful Bay of Naples may not be the pristine pool it once was, but the local seafood remains spectacular in variety and flavor. Here are the dishes we enjoyed.


The word crudo means raw. Appetizer plates of raw fish are very popular in Italy. This one consisted of tender, paper-thin slices of baby octopus and salmon, lightly dressed with olive oil, lemon, and salt, and served on a bed of wild arugula. The interplay of the succulent octopus, the silky salmon, and the mildly bitter arugula was superb.

Impepata di cozze

Years ago we knew cozze impepata as Neapolitan street food. Sidewalk vendors tended huge drums of boiling salt water heavily flavored with black pepper. They’d suspend a big bunch of mussels over the drum in a perforated dipper, pour water over them until they opened, and dump them onto a paper plate to be eaten with the hands. In this day’s restaurant dish, the mussels were steamed in their own broth, with garlic and oil as well as pepper. Each way, the glory of the simple preparation depends on very fresh, sweet, wild-harvested shellfish. And lots of pepper.

Spaghetti alle vongole veraci

This version of spaghetti with clam sauce, from the harborside restaurant La Bersagliera, may be my absolute, all-time, life-long favorite dish of pasta. I order it every time I’m there. Those tiny two-tube clams, the vongole veraci, have more luscious flavor and more intense sweetness here than in any other place and any part of Italy that I’ve ever had them. There’s not much else to the dish – olive oil, parsley, garlic, salt, and a touch of hot pepper – but either the clams from this locality or the way this kitchen handles them produces something purely magical.

Scialatelli con frutta di mare

Here are those marvelous mussels and clams again, in another kind of presentation. Scialatelli are fresh egg pasta, cut into a shape like thickish spaghetti but with a softer texture and milder flavor. The lightly cooked pomodorini – cherry tomatoes – added a bright touch of sweet vegetable acidity to the rich shellfish flavors.

Mezze paccheri con coccio

It’s a Naples tradition to serve large tubes of paccheri pasta in a sauce made with chunks of the fish locally called coccio. It’s a kind of gurnard: a big-headed, bottom-feeding fish with large side fins like wings, a relative of our Atlantic sea robins. In America, sea robins are usually considered trash fish, but that whole family can be quite delicious, as Neapolitans know. Another piscine relative is France’s rascasse, considered indispensable to bouillabaisse.

Frittura di paranza

The heap of small fishes on this plate included anchovies, tiny mullets and whiting, and possibly a sardine or two. Each was thinly coated in a tasty batter and fried to a perfect crunchiness. Lemon juice and salt brought out the best in them. Absolutely fresh fish and a really good hand at the fryer are what make this dish: It’s not “fishy” at all.

Grigliata di calamari e gamberi

The big grilled squid mantle you see here was very tender, meat-sweet, and quite rich, its flavor heightened by exposure to the flame. The two shrimp were also excellent I’d have been glad of a few more of them. The little mixed salad alongside made a nice contrast of texture and flavors.

Spigoletta al forno in sale

A spigola is a European sea bass, which can be a very large fish. Our smaller spigoletta probably weighed about two pounds when whole. Baked to perfection in a salt crust, it was a splendid fish: moist, rich, sweet, tender. (I know: I keep using the same words to describe these dishes. That’s because they were all like that – utterly delicious examples of their kind.)

Looking at these dishes all together, it’s obvious that there’s nothing exotic or complicated in their preparation or presentation. Given the right ingredients, they’d all be easy to turn out from an American home kitchen. But oh, those ingredients! It’s nearly impossible to get fish and shellfish so fresh, so fine, and so flavorful here. The opportunity to indulge in them would, all by itself, have made my trip to Naples worthwhile.


5 Responses

Unfortunately you’re right–we might be able to get some of the ingredients here, but no finished dish would ever taste the same. Your mouth-watering descriptions and photos (especially the spaghetti with the freaky 2-tube-clams) made me want to jump on the next plane to Naples. What a great trip!

Re the freaky clams: The Manila clams we can get here also have two tubes, and their shells look very like those of the vongole veraci. But while Manilas are very tasty and make a good spaghetti with clam sauce, it just isn’t the same dish. Must be something in the Mediterranean waters that those clams process through their siphons that makes them so marvelous.

Your beautiful images and mouth-watering descriptions were outstanding. I only wish that your writing could create the accompanying tastes and smells on my computer monitor. Thanks..

Well, it’s bound to happen — but maybe not in our lifetime. One more thing for us to try to survive for!

Recipe Summary

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
  • 28 fluid ounces water
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked linguine pasta
  • 3 pounds squid, cleaned and sliced into rings

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until lightly brown. Stir in tomato puree, water, red wine, salt, sugar and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente drain.

Stir calamari into the tomato puree mixture. Continue to simmer approximately 15 minutes, until squid is opaque. Check frequently to avoid overcooking squid. Serve squid and sauce over cooked linguine.

Spaghetti ‘Mare e Monti’ Recipe from Le Marche

Spaghetti mare e monti is a classic ‘surf and turf’ pasta recipe from the Marche region in central Italy. Le Marche is a beautiful unspoiled fairly mountainous and hilly region with a long coastline on the Adriatic sea. The food in this region is very influenced by both the land and the sea. So, the combination of different mushrooms and calamari (squid) in this delicious pasta dish is very representative of the local cuisine.

Pasta mare e monti is actually very popular throughout Italy. There are even similar risotto recipes and surf and turf pizzas! In some mare e monti pasta recipes, the seafood is prawns or shrimps, instead of calamari. In others, it’s different kinds of fish or shellfish. But, the majority of Italian surf and turf pasta recipes include mushrooms, particularly porcini.

What mushrooms can you use?

This recipe calls for mixed mushrooms. So, you can use any combination that you like. I used a mix of foraged and farmed mushrooms. Porcini give a lot of umami flavour to any dish and I was lucky enough to find fresh porcini! However, you could also use frozen or dried. Dried porcini will need to be soaked for about 20-30 minutes in warm water before cooking them.

Apart from the porcini, I included white champignon button mushrooms, a type of oyster mushroom we call cardoncelli, finferli (chanterelles) and pioppini (black poplar mushrooms) . The mushrooms are all cooked together, so it’s important to cut them to more or less the same size.

Calamari, fresh or frozen?

My hubby went shopping for the calamari for this spaghetti mare e monti. I was thrilled that he managed to find fresh baby calamari. I think, these are my favourites if I’m not stuffing them. Obviously, bigger ones are better for that! As you can imagine baby calamari are more tender than the big adult ones! However, the secret to cooking calamari is timing, no matter the size!

There are 2 ways of cooking calamari (and cuttlefish), fast or slow! This is because these sea creatures have a lot of connective tissue. When cooked fast these tissues don’t have time to harden so the calamari stays soft and tender. When slow cooked, the connective tissues break down and the calamari becomes tender. This spaghetti mare e monti is a fairly quick recipe to put together. So, you will need to cook the calamari for just a short time!

Of course, fresh calamari need cleaning. Luckily my hubby does it for me! But, if you don’t want to clean them or can’t find fresh squid, frozen works well too. In fact, like cuttlefish and octopus, calamari are actually often more tender after being frozen.

The pasta.

Spaghetti mare e monti is obviously made with spaghetti! However, other pasta shapes are delicious with it too! I chose to make this recipe with spaghetti made by one of Italy’s best pasta brands, Pasta Mancini. This unique pasta producer is in Le Marche, the region this recipe comes from. So, a perfect pairing!

I call Pasta Mancini unique because, unlike most other pasta makers, this company grows its own wheat and its pastificio (pasta factory) is located in the middle of its wheat fields! But, not only do they grow their own wheat but they do so following farming principles known as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). In short, this means that they implement sustainable, environmentally friendly farming.

I recently visited Pasta Mancini and was given a very informative tour of their pastificio. I learnt so much about wheat growing and pasta making during my visit. You can read about my visit in my post Pasta Mancini Pasta from Field to Fork. Or, if you’d like to learn even more about this company, check out their website. It’s in English too and they export to US and UK ( )

Making spaghetti mare e monti.

As I mentioned above this recipe doesn’t take so long to put together. The most time consuming part is the prep. The mushrooms need to be cleaned and chopped. Plus, the calamari, if fresh, needs cleaning and then cutting into small pieces too.

The rest of the ingredients are few, just some cherry or datterini tomatoes, parsley, garlic, peperoncino (red chili pepper) and wine. However, having just a few ingredients doesn’t mean this surf and turf pasta dish is lacking in taste. In fact, it’s very flavourful! I’m sure that if you make it, you’ll love this dish as much as the Italians do!

If you do try this spaghetti mare e monti recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your feedback means a lot to me!

Disclaimer: Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions expressed are my own.

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The cuttlefish, is a very prized mollusk that has a rich commercial and gastronomic consumption. This species belongs to the “Cephalopoda“, the family of the “Sepiidae”, which in turn is divided into three very distinct and different kinds of squid: Sepiella, Metasepia and Sepia. Cuttlefish are found all over the planet, and those in the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic Ocean Mar belong to the species “Sepia officinalis“, called also Common cuttlefish. Often the purchase of this product, for gastronomic matters, are chosen from abroad specimens of small dimensions, and in this case, it is very often the specimens belonging to the species of the genus “sepiella”.

Tartare of cuttlefish

The cuttlefish spends his life for much of the year almost always on the seabed at a depth of between 30 and 40 meters, and it is only in spring that approaches the coast to mate and lay eggs. According to the habitat where they live, these mollusks have different dimensions, not surprisingly is observed as the cuttlefish of the Mediterranean sea, than that of the Atlantic Ocean, is smaller, in fact the size of the first reach up to 35 centimeters , while the second can arrive from a minimum of 90 up to a maximum of 120 centimeters.

The color of the back of the cuttlefish once out of the water, it is quite dark, almost black brindle brown, while its belly is light pearl white, with reflections on the pink and green. Once in the water, these animals have a very active camouflage system, which seems to function on the basis of visual memories that have, in fact, not by chance, the cuttlefish are considered the most intelligent invertebrate on the planet.

Once the cuttlefish is killed, no longer it has the ability to blend in and tends to fade up to take on a pinkish color with yellowish shades, but should not be confused with the skinned cuttlefish, which in contrast, are totally color White. The shape of the cuttlefish is oval and morphologically are composed of two distinct segments one from the other, the head, and the body. The body is surrounded by a laminar fin that is used by the animal to move back and forth and change direction, while inwardly encloses the cuttlefish bone, viscera, gonads and possibly eggs and finally the “cuttlefish ink” (ink which is used for the defense).

Cuttlefish, artichoke and salami

The head of the cuttlefish is very large and has a large brain size, covered with connective tissue, while the eyes are positioned laterally to the head and the mouth is in the middle with boss ahead, much like a beak. All around the oral cavity, they are distributed the ten legs fitted with suction cups and eight of these are tentacles, while the remaining two, act as prehensile appendages useful to capture prey. The cuttlefish feed on other species of shellfish, fish and shellfish.

Nutritional characteristics

The flesh of the cuttlefish is very lean and free of cholesterol and thanks to these peculiarities, is one of the very low-calorie dishes and portions of this animal consumption, easy to reach the 300 grams . In this mollusk, it is present also traces of sugar, but the macronutrients that make this animal a product rich in vitamins and able to give a high energy value, are the sulfur-containing amino acids. As regards mineral salts containing in it, does not make any distinction compared to other mollusks.

Cuttlefish are very recommended in low-calorie diets, because they have a very good satiating power and a low amount of calories. Connective content this is a fair amount and this protein element also present in the flesh, increases with increasing age of the animal and it is hard to digest. For this reason, for people suffering from problems related to digestion, in gastritis and hypochlorhydria, we should take small cuttlefish and small quantities, especially if this meal is eaten in the evening.

Paccheri pasta with claims and cuttlefish

Cuttlefish in the Italian cuisine

Cuttlefish in the Italian cuisine is widely used for many recipes, as starter but also as main course. As starter it can be cooked in seafood salads along the mussels or other mollusks, but also alone, and the seasoned with simple extravergin olive oil. The cuttlefish can be also stuffed and backed in the oven. As first course is often cooked with pastas, seasoned with fresh tomatoes, or with other mollusk, or in the very famous risotto alla pescatora. As second course can be prepared in many recipes, among them the more cooked are stew with potatoes or with chickpeas, or just grilled. Other recipes are with all vegetables and especially in the tomatoes sauce. You can find many of these recipes in our site.

Cuttlefish choice

Cuttlefish stew

In addition to the size of the cuttlefish that you want to purchase, for a right choice, you have to observe the type of preservation and freshness of this product, and the place of origin of this mollusk. If the product is frozen, it is worth specifying that in addition to facilitate cleaning of the cuttlefish, this determines the readiness, extremely useful for tenderizing meat, in particular adult species. This process is useful if you wanted to cook the squid roasted, grilled or baked, and especially if the product in question is to our local branch. Readiness is a natural chemical/physical process to let tendering the meat in waiting at least 72 hours before to consume, since the animal as been killed. This is because when you have the rigor mortis, the muscles becoming harder, and the acidity and the enzymes of microorganism presents in the flash, let tendering the meat.

Cuttlefish caught in the Mediterranean Sea, have organoleptic and taste characteristics, much higher than those that come from the Atlantic Ocean fishing, but the freshly flesh just caught is remarkably consistent. It is advisable to always freeze this product, except when its use serves for the realization of risotto.

Watch the video: καλαμαράκια ή θράψαλα γεμιστά με τυριά στο σχαροτήγανο cuzinagias Squid stuffed with cheese