Friday, May 1, 2009

Seafood Zucchini Paccheri pasta 海鮮節瓜巴掌麵

The first time we had Zucchini Seafood Paccheri was at beach town Gaeta, which is a beautiful south side Italian gem located between Naples and Rome.

We ate lunch at a trattoria and the pasta was so amazing that as soon as we returned to Chicago, we cooked it at home...and when I returned to Taiwan, I cooked it for my family...and when Michele's parents came to visit us in Houston, we made it for them as well!

Paccheri is an interesting pasta, it's a large and hallow tube, and has a large diameter. A legend started that the Paccheri pasta was invented to hide garlic cloves inside the pasta tube for smuggling garlic from Italy to Prussia.

Paccheri also means "slap", like slap on the face...Kind of similar to Chinese, when we say 巴掌. Interesting onomatopoeia between different English it's "slap", in Chinese it starts wth "", Italian also, "Pa"

Zucchini and seafood is a wonderful combination, and makes a great base for pasta as well.

( Top: Seafood Zucchini pasta with rigatoni, bottom with spaghetti)

zucchinis (thinly sliced)
squid ( tube and tentacles), octopus, and prawns, or mussels
white wine
chopped garlic
olive oil
salt & pepper
pasta ( Paccheri or rigatoni)

Best to use pasta that has big/ flat surface, such as Paccheri pasta, or use any pasta that has a wider area that will soak up the sauce.

Heat olive oil and cook the chopped garlic over low heat, for about 3- 4 minutes. Add the thinly sliced zucchini and continue to cook until the zucchini has turned into a bright green and the edges start to brown. Stir in squid, octopus and prawns, pour in white wine and cook for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. The best version is when you have the moist purplish sauce formulate from the octopus and squid tentacles.

In salted boiled water, cook the pasta until al dente.

When pasta is cooked al dente, drain and toss the pasta into the sauce. Slightly stir fry until the pasta starts to soak up the sauce, and turn off heat. Serve immediately, while hot.


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