The Yomiuri ShimbunPescatore
In this column, chefs and cooking experts share recipes that are easy to prepare at home.
Pasta pescatore is a simple Italian seafood dish with a tomato sauce — pescatore means fisherman in Italian. Chef Katsuo Omiya of Restaurant Omiya in Asakusa, Tokyo, dusts off one of his recipes for the traditional pasta dish, a hugely popular item when his establishment opened. The aroma of white wine, one of the dish’s ingredients, complements the flavor and texture of the seafood.
Omiya said frozen seafood is a convenient choice for the dish’s main ingredient. He recommended using a seafood mix of shelled shrimp and clams, as well as frozen mussels, which are available via online delivery and at some supermarkets. You should thaw them well before cooking.
“The key is not to heat them too much,” he said.
Cooking the dish for too long will harden the texture of the seafood and also reduce the sauce too much. Omiya said he’s particular about making a soup-like sauce for this pasta: “Make sure you’re quick when you cook it.”
Omiya fried garlic in a heated frying pan and put in the seafood mix, mussels and cut-up squid all at once as soon as the garlic became aromatic. He poured in wine, all of the canned tomatoes and consomme beef powder in succession.
“Add the wine and tomatoes soon after putting in the seafood, to allow the seafood’s flavor to mix in with the sauce,” he said.
Omiya then added boiled pasta to the pan, and mixed it with the sauce. He turned off the heat only three minutes or so after putting the ingredients into the pan. The pasta continues cooking when mixed it with the sauce, so the pasta should be boiled for less time than it says on the packet.
Omiya sprinkled powdered cheese and dried parsley powder over the pasta to add a touch of color.
“In Italy, it’s said you shouldn’t sprinkle cheese over seafood pasta. But I think it tastes better this way,” he said with a smile.
The taste of white wine is prominent in the tomato-based sauce, which combines perfectly with the lightly cooked pieces of seafood.
Even though this is a simple dish to make, it has a rich, deep flavor.
Leftover pescatore sauce and ingredients can be used to make seafood pilaf.
To make a single serving, you need 10 grams of butter, 150 grams of cooked rice, 60 grams of leftover sauce from the pescatore pasta recipe.
Stir-fry the rice with butter, add the sauce and heat until almost no liquid remains in the pan. Season with pinches of salt and pepper and serve topped with seafood.
Ingredients (Serves 1):
100 grams seafood mix
1 tbsp minced garlic
⅓ dried chili pepper (takanotsume)
60 grams squid (insides removed)
6 frozen mussels
200 grams canned cut tomatoes
50 milliliters white wine
1 tsp consomme beef powder
80 grams pasta
Moderate amount of grated cheese, dried parsley
Recipe for pasta Pescatore
1. Boil pasta for about 1 minute less than directed on the packet.
2. Thaw seafood mix and mussels. Cut squid into 2 to 3 centimeter-long pieces.
3. Add just over a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and heat. Add garlic and chili pepper that has been torn into pieces by hand.
4. When the garlic becomes aromatic, over medium heat, add the seafood mix, mussels, squid, and white wine. Put the canned tomatoes and juice into the pan. Add consomme beef powder.
5. Add pasta and toss with sauce and seafood. Turn off the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve topped with grated cheese and dried parsley.
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