|Spaghetti Arrabbiata with Shrimp and Scallops
The name "Arrabbiata" actually comes from the word "Angry" in Italian, referring to the spiciness of this dish or sauce. Its a tomato based sauce that is spiced up with chillies. Some places use sweet peppers but the best Arrabbiatas I've tasted use dried chillies/peppers. Dried chillies have that slightly bittersweet flavor and aroma, coupled with the heat that it gives off.
I was rather pleased with how it turned out, the sauce had a good flavor. Most importantly, wifey was happy with it.
Here's what I used to serve 2:
Cooking oil or light olive oil for frying.
1 can diced tomatoes (drain off the liquid from the can)
1/3 cup white wine (you can get cooking white wine at most supermarkets)
1/2 cup tomato puree (passata)
1 yellow onion finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 stalks dried chillies, blitzed with a food proccesor or grounded with a mortar and pestle.
(To reduce the heat, cut them open lengthwise to remove the seeds)
About 160gms No.3 Spaghetti (You can use regular spaghetti. No.3 is a personal preference)
8 pieces of scallops
8 grey prawns (peeled)
2 teaspoons flat leafed parsley chopped
2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
1. Bring a pot of salted water (~2 tsp salt to a liter of water) to the boil - for cooking the pasta. Once water is boiling, cook pasta according to package instructions.
Tip: If you intend to start on other tasks, its a good idea to set a timer. Your pasta will most likely be done ahead of time. When pasta is done, drain the water away and add a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.
Tip: I usually set some of this "pasta water" aside to adjust the consistency of the sauce later.
2. Heat about 2-3 teaspoons of oil in a saute pan (about 28cm or so) over medium heat. When the oil is heated, sear the scallops and prawns in the pan. About 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Remove and set aside.
3. Add a couple tbsp of oil in the same pan over a medium heat. When the oil is heated up (moves easily around the pan), add the diced onions and dried chillies, stir well and fry for 2-3 mins. Then add in the garlic, mix well and fry for another min.
4. Add in the white wine and simmer for 1-2 mins.
5. Add in the diced tomatoes and tomato puree, mix well. Set heat to low and simmer for 5-10 mins.
Tip: This can be referred to as "cooking out" the tomatoes. Diced tomatoes and tomato puree have a tartness to it. Cooking it out reduces this tartness and mellows out the flavor, enriching the whole sauce.
Note: You may notice that there isn't salt added in. If you read the labels on your cans/bottles of tomatoes and tomato puree, there is mostly likely salt in there.
6. Taste and season with salt/pepper to your liking. You can adjust the consistency of the sauce at this point with the water used to cook the pasta with or with olive oil. Do note that if you use the pasta water, there is salt in it.
7. Add the cooked pasta and seafood into the sauce and mix well.
8. Dish onto dinner plates, garnish and serve warm.
If you have suggestions or you have tried this yourself, do let me know. Leave a comment.