Pasta is always good and when paired with seafood, even better. Unless if you are allergic or simply not a fan of crustaceans. All hope is not lost as this tomato based dish is easily customized according to your own preference of ingredients. Right up to the type of pasta.
The fanfare of this Spaghetti al Cartoccio is in its presentation. That being said, making a good tomato sauce is essential to the success of this dish. Today, I used Alce Nero Organic Pasta Sauce with Basil. For homemade version, check out my Homemade Pomodoro Sauce.
Cartoccio means paper bag, therefore, the spaghetti is transferred into baking paper or foil, wrapped and baked in the oven for 5 – 10 mins. As the baking process will continue to cook the pasta and seafood, it is advisable to undercook your seafood and pasta (by 2 mins shy) to achieve an al dente texture for the pasta and succulent seafood.
Your guests will be presented with their own parcel of delight and I can guarantee there will be lots of “Oohs” and “Wows” at the dining table.
320g spaghetti or linguine (approx. 80g or more per person)
300g clams – wash and soak in salted water for 30 mins before cooking
1 large squid – skin and soft bone removed, cut into rings
6 – 8 prawns
½ cup (140 ml) white wine
1 can (350g) Alce Nero Organic Pasta Sauce with Basil (click here for homemade version)
¾ cup (200 ml) chicken stock or water
4 cloves garlic – minced
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp olive oil or cooking oil
Black pepper to taste
serves 3 – 4
Clean and prepare the seafood accordingly.
In a large skillet, add in 2 tbsp olive oil and ½ of the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant but not brown.
Add in clams and ½ of the white wine. Stir briefly and cover with lid.
When most of the clam shells start to open, remove lid and transfer to a plate. Discard unopened ones, if any.
Add in remaining olive oil and garlic. Sauté until fragrant and add in prawns and squid.
When the prawns start to turn red, transfer both ingredients to a plate. *it is ideal to leave the seafood undercooked as they will continue to cook in the oven later.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add in generous amount of salt. It should taste like sea water. Add in pasta and cook according to package instruction.
Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce.
Drizzle some olive oil to the same skillet and pour in the tomato sauce.
Add in stock and the remaining liquid from the seafood. Bring to boil.
Season with salt, sugar and pepper.
When the pasta is done, transfer into the sauce along with the seafood.
Toss well and turn off heat.
Distribute the pasta, seafood and sauce into each pouch. You’ll want to have more sauce so the pasta will not dry out during the baking process.
Wrap securely and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F for 5 – 10 mins.
Transfer onto serving plate and let your guests unwrap the parcels themselves.