One of my favorite dishes to prepare when I worked in restaurants was Frutti di Mare. I loved blending seafood together and especially loved serving it over pasta.
There are as many different recipes as there are Italian grandmothers for Frutti di Mare. And every family has a favorite ingredient that makes it their own special version of this Italian classic.
What Ingredients do I need to make Frutta di Mare?
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make a Frutta di Mare. In Chef Speak this is called the Mise en Place which translates into Everything in its Place.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
Depending on what I have available and who I am serving will often dictate what goes into my interpretation of this wonderful dish.
My wife enjoys white sauces more than red, so when I prepared this dish for her I kept it in more of an Aioli type sauce. Of course, if you prefer a red sauce or a touch of red feel free to adjust the recipe.
This dish also makes a wonderful Fra Diavolo if your mood is for a little more on the spicy side.
The first step is adding the olive oil, garlic, basil and red pepper flakes to a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Let the garlic cook for about 30 seconds to release the flavor into the oil.
Then add the seafood to the hot pan and cover the pan. This will steam the mussels and clams open as well as cook the shrimp and scallops.
Chef Dennis Tip:
** I thought searing the shrimp and scallops first might help, but it really wasn’t necessary and caused them to be just a little overcooked. My advice would be to par-cook the shrimp and scallops, then remove them from the pan before adding the mussels and clams to steam open. Then add them back to the pan to finish cooking once the mussels and clams have steamed open.
I had a nice variety of seafood, but again feel free to add in what you have on hand.
What other seafood can I add to Frutti de Mare?
Some of my favorite additions to this dish are:
- Salmon, snapper, mahi-mahi or any thick cut fish you enjoy.
Serve your Frutti di Mare over linguine and pour a little of the best olive oil you have on top for added flavor, and I know Italians don’t like cheese with seafood, but I always add some grated Romano cheese to my pasta dishes, even seafood.
I do hope you give this dish a try, it’s really very easy to make, and you’ll have a restaurant-quality dinner for less than half the price of dining out at your favorite restaurant.
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