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Paccheri con Sugo del Mare

EATALY MAGAZINE (July 26, 2018)
Paccheri are wide tubes of pasta with lots of room for capturing a savory, chunky sauce. Typical to southern Italy, this recipe for paccheri with seafood transports us to sunnier days on the coast, watching the sun glance off blue-green waves, even on the coldest winter days.

Paccheri con Sugo del Mare (Pasta with Seafood Sauce)

1 pound paccheri
3 cups extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces tuna belly
20 medium shrimp, shelled & deveined
6 calamari
20 clams
½ cup white wine
20 mussels
1 clove garlic
1 pinch chili flakes
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Fine sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan, combine the extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest. Place the pan over low heat and, using a thermometer, bring the olive oil to about 130˚F. Season the tuna with salt and pepper, add it to the saucepan, and poach the tuna in the olive oil until it is medium rare, about 7 minutes. Remove the tuna from the oil and set it aside. Strain the oil and discard the lemon zest, and reserve the oil. (You won’t use all of it in this recipe, but it can be used in other dishes.)

Chop the shrimp into 1/4-inch pieces. Cut the calamari bodies into 1/8-inch slices and cut the tentacles in half the long way. Thinly slice the poached tuna.

Place the clams in a medium pot. Set the pot over medium heat, add the wine, and cover it with a tight-fitting lid. As the clams open, remove them from the pot. When all the clams have opened (discard any that do not open), add the mussels to the pot and place over medium heat. Add the wine and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Again, remove the mussels from the pot as they open. Strain any liquid left in the bottom of the pot through a coffee filter or cheesecloth and set aside in a bowl. Remove the clams and mussels from their shells and set them aside in the bowl with the strained liquid.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. When the water is boiling, salt it and add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente.

In the meantime, as the pasta cooks, heat about 3 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil from poaching the tuna in a large separate pan. Crush the garlic clove and add it to the pan with the chili flakes. Sauté until the garlic is golden, then remove and discard the garlic.

Add the shrimp and calamari to the pan and toss until they are cooked, about 1 minute, then add the sliced tuna.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander, then transfer it immediately to the pan with the fish. Toss a few times, then add the clams and mussels and their liquid. Toss the mixture vigorously over medium heat until the pasta and seafood are combined well, about 1 minute. Drizzle the pasta with a generous amount of the extra virgin olive oil from poaching the tuna, sprinkle on the parsley, and serve immediately.

Buon appetito!

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