Seafood Pasta al Cartoccio
Al cartoccio is the Italian counterpart of the French “En papillote” where dishes like pasta and seafood is wrapped tightly in a parchment pouch then baked. Original recipes or method uses parchment paper but modern iterations can use other materials like paper bag, aluminium foil, baking paper and anything similar. Like initially mentioned perfect food items used in this cooking process are seafood, vegetables and pasta as they cook really quick and using a longer cooking meat might already burn the parchment even before the whole dish is cooked.
Usually when cooking it this way some sort of moisture is added like wine, butter, water or stock as it aids a lot in the cooking process where the hot steam generated cooks the meat inside. When serving it is usually the diner who opens the parchment allowing them to smell the aroma of the dish as it opens.
The last time I had one was when we were in Rome and that’s one of the best dishes I tried in there, now I am trying to recreate them at home to bring back the memories of those days.
- 350 g spaghetti, cooked 3 minutes less according to packet instructions
- ½ cup white wine
- 300 g white fish fillets, cubed
- 500 g clams
- 1 dozen New Zealand mussels
- 1 dozen prawns, shelled
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- chilli flakes
- 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- freshly ground black pepper
- sea salt
- olive oil
- baking paper
- In a large pan add olive oil then quickly pan fry fish fillets and prawns for 90 seconds on each side in medium heat. Remove from pan then set it aside
- Add more olive oil then sauté the garlic. Pour the white wine let it boil.
- Add the clams and mussels and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and parsley then simmer covered for 10 minutes.
- Turn heat to high then toss in the cooked pasta, turn heat of then season it with sea salt, chilli flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
- Prepare 2 or 3 large sheets of baking paper that can hold the pasta then transfer cooked pasta and seafood. Dividing it into 2 or 3 large parcels. Place the cooked fish and squeeze some lemon on top then seal by crimping the edges of the baking paper together.
- Bake in a 230C preheated oven for 7 minutes. Remove from oven then serve while hot. Be careful of the hot steam.