To make sure each type of seafood in our “fruit of the sea” pasta is perfectly cooked, we add them to the pot in stages.
Linguine ai Frutti di Mare
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Traditionally, Italian pasta ai frutti di mare incorporates whatever is available in the daily catch into a dish resplendent with flavors of the sea—from briny mollusks to succulent shellfish. We wanted a pasta dish with uncomplicated, clean elements that highlighted and complemented the delicate flavor of the seafood. We chose tomatoes, chili flakes, and saffron—a classic combination—and fortified the sauce with clam juice. For a smooth sauce that nicely coated the pasta and seafood, we found that canned whole tomatoes, pulsed in a food processor, worked best; tasters appreciated the texture of this sauce as opposed to one made with canned crushed tomatoes. We also added tomato paste and anchovies for savory depth. Adding the different types of seafood in stages ensured that each element was cooked perfectly. A sprinkle of toasted lemon-chili bread crumbs served as a perfect aromatic accompaniment to this satisfying seafood dish.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
8 ounces large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled and deveined, shells reserved
1 cup dry white wine
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
2 shallots, sliced thin
6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and minced
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
⅛ teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
1 pound linguine
8 ounces mussels, scrubbed and debearded
8 ounces large sea scallops, tendons removed
8 ounces squid, bodies sliced crosswise into ¼-inch-thick rings, tentacles halved
⅓ cup minced fresh parsley
1 cup Lemon-Chili Bread Crumbs
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to turn spotty brown and pot starts to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer into bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids.
2. Pulse tomatoes in food processor until finely ground, about 10 pulses. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in now-empty pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots and cook until softened and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, anchovy, pepper flakes, and saffron and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in wine mixture, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until nearly evaporated, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and clam juice, bring to simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and flavors meld, about 20 minutes.
3. Add mussels, bring to boil, cover, and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until mussels open, 3 to 6 minutes. As mussels open, remove them with slotted spoon and transfer to bowl. Discard any mussels that refuse to open.
4. Reduce sauce to simmer, gently stir in scallops, and cook for 2 minutes. Gently stir in shrimp and cook until just opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Off heat, stir in squid, cover, and let sit until just opaque and tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, then drain pasta and add to pot with sauce. Add mussels and parsley and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and adjust consistency with reserved cooking water as needed. Serve, sprinkling individual portions with bread crumbs and drizzling with extra oil.