London, 8th February 2013 – The main ingredients of this pasta sauce come from the sea and the mountains (mari e monti). This is a classic and very popular Italian combination of flavours which I love.
I used chestnut mushrooms combined with dried porcini mushrooms and this strong flavour contrasts nicely with the more delicate taste of the prawns and squid. The sauce need to be cooked quickly, the mushrooms and the seafood should be tender but still firm to the bite.
I combined this sauce with classic paccheri pasta made in Gragnano (historical town of pasta manufacture in Italy). This pasta is made from high quality Durum wheat semolina. The pasta dough is then forced through a bronze die, which is a perforated plate made of bronze. This gives the pasta a rougher texture which helps to hold the sauce better.
This is a dish for pasta lovers!
RECIPE WITH STEP BY STEP PICTURES
PACCHERI MARE E MONTI
(Seafood and Mushroom Paccheri Pasta)
SERVES 4, PREP 30 MINUTES, COOK 15 MINUTES
- 15 g dried Porcini mushrooms
- 80 ml water (cold)
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 250 g fresh chestnut mushrooms
- 250 g jumbo king prawns
- 100 g squid
- sea salt
- 350 g Paccheri pasta
- Baby plum tomatoes cut into quarters
- flat leaf parsley
Wash and clean the seafood (as described in my post Potato Dumplings and Seafood sauce). Cut the prawns and the squid into small pieces, saving and cooking a few prawns for decoration.
Wash the dried Porcini, and then put them in a cup filled with 100 ml of water. Soak the mushrooms for at least 20 – 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and chop roughly. Use a fine sieve to remove any sand or grit from the water, and set aside.
Wash the chestnut mushrooms and cut them into 1 cm thick slices.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic. Cook, stirring over a medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the Porcini and stir fry for 1 minute.
Add the Chestnuts mushrooms and fry for another 3 minutes. Remove the mushroom mixture from the pan and set aside.
In the same frying pan add the squid and stir fry for 3 minutes.
Then add the prawns and the strained Porcini mushroom water and the cook over a high temperature for a few minutes or until they turn pink and the sauce has thickened. Season with sea salt and crushed black pepper.
Return the mushrooms to the pan and mix thoroughly, save a few for decoration.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta thoroughly, add it to the Porcini and seafood sauce and mix well.
In a bowl, mix the baby plum tomatoes with the saved prawns and mushrooms, toss with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Serve the pasta topped with the baby plum tomato mixture and sprinkled with parsley.
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