Monday, September 22, 2008

Frutti di Mare

*Updated with recipe

Frutti di Mare, white wine, baguette and fantastic foie gras

I have not cooked good food in a real long time...
Back in 2006 I attended a whole week of cooking class under an Italian chef at Amici di Don Bosco.  My favorite then was Frutti di Mare (Fruits of the sea) with black pasta.  After getting fresh pasta and great olive oil in Venice I decided to cook for my sister today as i'm leaving Paris tomorrow to go adventuring elsewhere this week.
I used to make the actual pasta itself (yup, starts with getting ink sacs from squids), rolling the pasta out with my good old rolling pin then cutting it thinly.  This fresh pasta is WAY better, I need to practice again.
400 g blank ink pasta (good for 4 people). If you can't find this, any ole spaghetti will do
1 lb scallops
1 lb small squid
1 lb shrimp
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup tomatoes (I like canned stewed tomatoes only because they are sweeter than fresh)
1 head of garlic, minced fine
1 cup white wine
3 Tbsp parsley chopped

The original recipe calls for mussels, clams and fish.  You can add whatever seafood you like, just be aware that each has it's own cooking time, and halve the amount of the other ingredients (you'll find the amount I have here is already too much, I love seafood, what can I say?)

Fresh (extremely fresh) scallops
Prep work:
1. Depending on the size of you scallops, halve them into 1 - 1 1/2 inch pieces and separate the orange part (good eats, don't throw this away like I used to).  If you have small ones, leave as is.
2. Peel the skin of the squid, take the spine out and remove the incisors from the head.  Slice rings from the body, and quarter the head.
3. Remove the head and shell of the squid, put this into a pan with a little salt and 1/2 cup water.  Let it boil and mash the heads with a slotted spoon to get all the shrimp juice out.

4. Remove the vein at the back of the squid by running your knife along the back and fishing out the vein. 

Perfectly cooked shrimp
Start boiling water for the pasta.  Once it comes to a boil, add 3 Tbsp of salt.
Heat the oil in the pan.  The reason there is so much oil is because this dish is an oil based pasta. Add the garlic and cook it for about a minute.  Add the tomatoes and let it color the oil and fry a little (takes 2 minutes for canned tomatoes, 4 minutes for fresh).  Add the scallops and fry, season with salt and pepper.  Watch it so that as soon as it firms up a little, remove the scallops from the heat to avoid over cooking.  Don't worry about it being undercooked, you'll cook it again later.  Next, do the same thing with the shrimp and squid separately. Sauté and season, then remove from the heat. 

 Once your seafood is cooked, add the white wine to the oil and let the alcohol burn away (give it around 6 minutes).  When you can't smell the alcohol anymore, add the shrimp broth you just made (make sure you just add the water and none of the shrimp head).  Let this boil down for about 10 minutes.   What we are doing is basically intensifying the shrimp taste.  Salt and Pepper to taste.   While waiting for the pasta sauce to boil, add your pasta to the salted and boiling pasta water.  You'll have to time this so that as soon as the pasta is cooked, you can add it to the pasta sauce.
As soon as the pasta sauce boils down, scrape the bottom to make sure nothing is burning and gauge if the oil/sauce is enough for your pasta.   Get the cooked pasta and dump it in the same pan, let it absorb the oil and sauce (let go for about a minute so that you don't overcook it).   Add back the seafood you precooked and let them simmer happily for about a minute more, at the same time taste to adjust the seasoning.

Tossing the fresh pasta after cooking for 3 minutes into the simmering pot of sea-liciousness
 Take off the heat and drizzle more olive oil on top then add chopped parsley for garnish.
*If the oil is not enough, just add more olive oil to the sauce and season appropriately.

Et Voila! Frutti di Mare


  1. nagutom ako... mishu gurl!! sa december... kitakits ah.. you don't have to cook (pwede eat out) pero pwede rin luto mo.. hahaha YYUUMMMYYY!! :D ngatz ka jan ;-)

  2. hahaha, sige freshness, excited na ako feeling ko daming new restos sa pinas

  3. super sarap !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Glad you liked it kitty, updated with Recipe!