Saturday, 19 November 2011

Seafood Marinara w/ Penne

Um, I like penne because it holds sauce better than spaghetti? And puréeing the tomatoes slightly with a stick blender would be nice. I didn't do it, but next time, I definitely would...especially since I now own a stick blender~

What else do I want to say...? I also like seafood. If there is a day where I don't have seafood, I'm probably eating Vietnamese beef noodle soup. I love it to the point of addiction/obsession.

The seafood in this recipe can be changed to other kinds like scallops or smoked fish if desired.
Sauce w/o the seafood.
Seafood marinara w/ Penne
Serves 6-8

1 medium raw calamari (~100-150g)
10 medium raw prawns (~300g)
10 black/blue mussels (~250g)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 small red chilis
100g mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup of white wine
2 tbsp chopped oregano
1 bay leaf
800g can of chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup cold water
salt and pepper, to taste
500g penne
shaved parmesan, to taste
extra oregano to garnish

To clean the seafood:
Clean the calamari by pulling out the head from the body and discard the innards. Pull of the 'wings'. If you're unlucky, you might find a giant fish as you pull out the head. Cut out the eyes and squeeze out the beak from the between the tentacles. From the body, remove the clear piece of cartilage (the quill) and cut down the body. Peel off the reddish coloured layer and make diagonal cuts on the inside of the calamari's body so that when it cooks, it curls up nicely. Slice the pieces into approximately 3cm by 5cm in size. Set aside.

Pull of the prawn heads (can be used for stock, so don't discard) and then peel the prawns, removing the tail as well. Then cut down the back of the prawn and remove the sand vein. Using scissors, cut down through the same cut so that there are two halves of a prawn. Repeat for the rest of the prawns.

Using a knife, scrape off any dirt or extra shells attached to the outside of the mussel, Pull out any brown weed-like clumps from the mussel as well.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pot and quickly fry the prawns for several seconds, making sure they have a little golden brown crust, but are not cooked through completely. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Heat another 1 tbsp of oil in the same pot over medium heat and saute the onions for about 3 or 4 minutes or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and oil and fry for another minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, then the white wine, oregano and bay leaf. Add the chopped tomatoes and cold water and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the penne according to package directions in lightly salted water. Drain, reserving a a tablespoon or two of the pasta water.

Increase the sauce heat to high and add the prawns, calamari and mussels to the sauce. Cover for about 3 minutes or until the majority of the mussels have opened and add the drained pasta and water.

Serve with extra oregano and shaved parmesan.

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