About this recipe:Cooked in a delicious wine-enriched tomato sauce, a nutritious mix of seafood makes an elegant partner for the long thin pasta called spaghettini. Prepare a leafy mixed side salad with a wide variety of attractive and flavoursome greenery to go with this dinner party main course.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2–3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
250 ml (8½ fl oz) dry white wine
1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g
pinch of crushed dried chillies
¼ tsp sugar
pinch of saffron threads
8–12 mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
2 squid, cleaned, then tentacles cut into bite-sized pieces and bodies cut into rings
300 g (10½ oz) raw tiger or king prawns, peeled
400 g (14 oz) spaghettini
salt and pepper
sprigs of fresh oregano or marjoram to garnish
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Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and sauté for 5–7 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and parsley and cook for a further 1 minute.
Pour in the wine and bring to the boil. Regulate the heat so that the wine boils steadily, and cook for about 15 minutes or until the wine has almost all evaporated.
Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, the crushed chillies, sugar and saffron. Reduce the heat and cook gently for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
Add the mussels. Cover and cook over a moderate heat for about 5 minutes or until the mussels start to open. Add the squid and prawns, and cook for a further 3–4 minutes or until the prawns turn from blue-grey to pink. Remove from the heat. Discard any mussels that have not opened, then cover the pan to retain the heat.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghettini in boiling water for 10 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain and return to the empty pan. Add some of the tomato sauce and toss the pasta until coated.
Serve the pasta with the remaining tomato sauce and seafood piled on top, garnished with small sprigs of fresh oregano or marjoram.
Some more ideas
When tomatoes are in season, use 1 kg (2¼ lb) ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and diced, instead of canned. The cooking time for the sauce will be about 5 minutes longer. (You may need a little more sugar to balance the tangy flavour of fresh tomatoes.) * Omit the squid and replace it with 200 g (7 oz) cooked or canned, drained cannellini beans. This will make a more substantial dish – high-fibre foods such as pulses are very filling – so you might want to reduce the quantity of pasta to 340 g (12 oz).
Shellfish contain useful amounts of B vitamins, particularly B12, and they are a good source of the antioxidant selenium. * Pasta and seafood make a delicious dish that is both special and nutritious: it is high in starchy carbohydrate and low in fat. Wine and tomatoes make a sauce that is far lower in fat than the usual cream-based dressings. * Onions and garlic contain allicin, which has anti-fungal and antibiotic properties.
Each serving provides
B12, copper * B6, E, niacin, calcium, potassium, selenium * B1, C