Enclose your seafood pasta dinner in parchment paper pouches, and the flavors and aroma mingle while they bake.
You might look at this recipe and wonder why you need the parchment pouches and can’t just continue cooking in the saucepan. Here’s the truth: it’s a bit more complicated, yes, but if you skip the baking in the pouches, then you will miss a big part of what makes this dish so tasty.
Imagine this: The spaghetti absorbs the sauce and blends with the other ingredients in an enclosed pouch. All you need is one whiff of the steam and you will understand what all the extra work was for.
When I have some extra time, I roll up my sleeves and treat myself and my family to an elaborate seafood meal. I am partial to seafood over meat, and fortunately my kids love it too. Serving this pasta always makes for a fun activity on the table, because everyone gets a tied-up pouch (imagine the oohs and aahs from the kids). When I cut open the pouches, the steam comes out, and boy, the aroma is outstanding.
Seafood spaghetti baked in parchment pouches recipe
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 8 large shrimp
- 1-1/2 pounds clams
- 1 pound mussels
- 4 medium squid
- 14 ounces cherry tomatoes or 4 large mature tomatoes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- Preheat the oven to 365 degrees F.
- On high heat, boil a pot of water for the pasta.
- In a large saucepan with olive oil over medium heat, sauté the garlic until the cloves color.
- Add the clams and the mussels. Toss until they open.
- Add the squid, shrimp and tomatoes. Cook together for about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the white wine. Toss again for another 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the parsley. Turn off the heat, and cover the pan to keep the sauce warm.
- When the water for the pasta is boiling, sprinkle in some salt, and then cook the spaghetti for 2 minutes less than the cooking time indicated on the package. This is because the pasta will be further cooked in the oven. Drain the spaghetti.
- Add the spaghetti to the saucepan, and mix well with the sauce.
- Divide the spaghetti into 4 portions, making sure each has enough sauce. Place each portion onto a large sheet of parchment paper, and then tie each sheet of paper to form a sealed pouch. Place all the pouches onto a baking pan.
- Bake the pouches for 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately after removing the pouches from the oven, and open the pouches on the table, cutting away as much paper as you can to avoid mess when eating.
- Drizzle with olive oil, and enjoy.