- Food and Cooking
Seafood Pasta with Wine Sauce
Italian Cuisine Made Easy (for Guys)
Guys can be great cooks when they want to be, but many consider cooking more of a hassle than its worth. This article shows how to minimize that hassle, and makes gourmet cooking something regulars guys can do. Seafood wine spaghetti sauce takes only basic kitchen utensils to make, uses mostly ingredients right off the kitchen shelf, and can be mixed any way a guy wants. Easy. The steps are outlined below, and a link to our Youtube demo video is also provided. For optional suggestions while making this, or info on the impressive health benefits of the ingredients, please read further.
Fresh custom flavor from your own herb and spice rack
Spaghetti alla Pescatore Pazzo (Italian)
Crazy Fisherman's Spaghetti (English)
"Spaghetti alla Pescatore Pazzo" is so named, because the recipe allows for going as "pazzo" (crazy) in adding whatever ingredients strike the aspiring gourmet's fancy. In our case, we put in lotsa sambal, garlic, and olive oil. A list of ingredients follows. Substitutions for shrimp and tuna (like salmon or crab) work well also, so does substituting other pasta types.
canned peeled tomatoes
jumbo shrimp (frozen\thawed is fine)
packaged whole wheat spaghetti
sambal (Asian chili paste)
Here's where a guy's touch comes in handy. Notice this list is 14 items long, but making it takes only a big pot, a little pot, a cutting board and knife, and a can opener (preferably automatic). Plus, except for garlic and parsley, nothing else has to be bought fresh. The rest comes out of cans, bottles, frozen packs, or dispensing containers from stuff readily found in kitchen cabinets. That's very convenient for guys who hate to shop for food any more than they have to. That's it. The video gives pointers on how to get results similar to ours, but there really aren't any steps that can not be tweaked according to one's own personal style or taste.
Add Salmon or Tuna to your Pasta
Video: Gourmet Italian Cuisine Made Easy - Seafood & Wine Spaghetti Sauce Demo
A Few Hints and Suggestions
(but feel free to experiment)
Ingredients can be mixed in any order or amount an adventurous cook likes, but for viewers of the above demo video who would like similar results to ours, the following guidelines will likely be helpful.
1. After opening a can of tuna, or perhaps substituted crab, salmon or clams, which may have been packed in a preservative brine, rinse the contents in a sieve under the sink faucet before putting it into the sauce pot. This makes the flavor more distinct, and complements the other sauce ingredients rather than dominating them.
2. If using large shrimp, hold off on putting them in the sauce until a few minutes before getting ready to serve it. Shrimp cook within a minute or two of being placed in the sauce, and cooking them any longer will tend to shrink them. Another idea when using shrimp is to pour the wine into a small bowl with the shrimp as a marinade before putting them both in the sauce. This materially enhances the shrimp flavor.
3. Start with the sauce and let it simmer for as long as it takes until the water in the spaghetti noodle pot comes to a boil. At that point, put the spaghetti in the boiling water and test its firmness "al dente" ("on the tooth") every two minutes or so. Just pull a noodle out and bite it. Timing devices are no fun, nor is a nominal time limit reliable. "Al dente" is easier and better. Also easier is if the spaghetti boils in a strainer in the big pot. It's not a show stopper, but does make separating the noodles from the water more practical.
Guys who make seafood and red wine spaghetti sauce, not only have the benefit of impressing the ladies with their sophistication in the culinary arts (just don't let on how easy it was), but can also score points with their knowledge of health benefits. In fact Spaghetti alla Pescatore Pazzo might just have to find a new name, because it's anything but "pazzo" (crazy) to eat it. A rundown of everything about this recipe that is healthy follows. The list is a reference, which readers can simply scan or skip, but do keep the main ones in mind. The main health benefits are lycopene from tomatoes, healthy omega-3 fatty acids from tuna and shrimp, monounsaturated fats from olive oil which regulate good and bad cholesterol levels, complex carbohydrates from whole wheat pasta, and a wide range of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and anti-inflammatories from everything else combined. This dish is not only easy to prepare and delicious, but all of its ingredients are also conducive to maintaining a superior health profile.
Tomatoes: Contains oodles of lycopene, an anti-oxidant for battling toxins, free radicals, and cancers. Interestingly, lycopene increases when cooking tomatoes.
Tuna: Protein, and a good source of Omega-3 which is very beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Also a rich source of minerals: iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, selenium.
Shrimp: Protein and Omega-3 fatty acids with multiple antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular health benefits. Rich source of vitamins: B12, B6, B3, A, C, D, E, and has copper and zinc to promote healthy cell function, plus iodine, selenium, iron, magnesium, sodium, and astaxanthin.
Whole Wheat Spaghetti: Good source of vegetable protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber for burning body fat. Also contains vitamins: E, B6 and K, and minerals: magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and zinc.
Sambal (Asian chili paste): Several sources indicate "spicy hot" capsaicinoids may help combat free radical activity, have anti-inflammatory properties, aid in alleviating respiratory congestion, and stimulate endorphins ("happy" body chemistry).
Black Pepper: Reduces gas and enhances digestion. Also has notable antioxidant and antibiotic properties.
Red Pepper Flakes: Comparable capsaicinoid benefits to that of Sambal.
Basil: Significant anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibiotic properties. Also contains flavonoids which protect the cells, and magnesium to enhance blood circulation.
Oregano: Besides being an antioxidant and an antibiotic, oregano also contains vitamin K for cardiovascular and bone health, as well as major minerals such as iron and manganese.
Garlic: Contains hydrogen sulfide. Traditional folk remedies include managing blood pressure and cholesterol, and improving cardiovascular health. Also used for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Olive Oil: Good source of monounsaturated fat for lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and raising good cholesterol (HDL). Also contains vitamins A, B-1, B-2, C, D, E and K and iron. Long history of medicinal applications, including aiding the digestive system, using as a mild laxative, easing ulcers and gastritis symptoms, treating urinary tract and gall bladder issues, and as an ointment to improve skin health.
Red Wine: Several sources site research indicating red wine benefits heart health because its flavonoids (antioxidants) reduce LDL ("bad" cholesterol) and increase HDL ("good" cholesterol). Other research suggests a specific antioxidant, resveratrol, may inhibit tumor development and may aid in nerve cell development to improve neurological ills such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Raw Parsley: Known to contain antioxidants for combating free-radicals which can damage cells. Some animal studies indicate parsley might have anti-carcinogenic properties for inhibiting tumors. Also contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folic acid and iron. Traditional medical uses of parsley have included everything from treating jaundice and malaria to insect bites.
Sea Salt: In its natural state, sea salt derives iodine from the microscopic amounts sea life it contains. Highly touted types of sea salt include so called "Celtic" and "Hawaiin". Taste may vary by source, but basic mineral content usually does not deviate materially from the following (in order of significance): Chloride, Sodium, Sulfate, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Bicarbonate, Bromide, Borate, Strontium. Sea salt contains significantly healthier quantities of trace minerals than processed salt. There are many other trace minerals in sea salt but their quantities are negligible relative to those listed here.
Red or White Wine Debate for Seafood Pasta Sauce - Opinions Welcome
Classic wine selection generally assumes white wine with fish. However, with "Spaghetti alla Pescatore Pazzo" we favor red wine as it is healthier than its white counterpart, and (in our view) also compliments the herbs, spices, and garlic in the sauce better. We've never actually tried this particular seafood sauce with anything but red wine, so the question is up for debate. Feedback welcome :-)
Do you prefer red wine in seafood pasta sauce, or white wine?
Bonus Video: Crab Appetizer - Shredded crab & coconut in an avocado flower cocktail arrangement
We enjoyed making the Spaghetti alla Pescatore Pazzo demo video enough to make another food demo shortly afterwards. This one is not Italian, but is fun to make and lets you create a bit of a buzz amongst your dinner party guests. Coconut and crab is a great tropical combination, especially with the other ingredients we suggest. It also presents nicely in a cocktail glass (or small bowl) prepared with avocado slices arranged like an open flower. Enhancing the flavor with curry, brown sugar, and chili paste kicks this dish up a notch. When done, use a tooth pick to stand the kiwi slices upright on your finished cocktail to add that extra bit of sweetness, and some "ooh-la-la" to the presentation. This appetizer/cocktail can be served warm (like crab cake), or chilled from the fridge (try adding a bit of coconut milk before chilling). If you have any of the main preparation left over after you fill your cocktail glasses, then it also works well with stir fried rice, especially brown rice.
Bonus Video 2: Filipino Fish Recipe - Pompano fish with "Pinakbet" (spiced vegetable\chicked stir fry)
Here's a real touch of the Philippines. This traditional dish dips Pompano fish in a special vinegar/soy sauce/chili paste sauce, and uses marinated shrimp paste to flavor a stir-fried side dish of vegetables with chicken (pork or shrimp works too). This is certainly worth trying to make for seafood lovers who have not yet had the pleasure of eating fish Filipino style.
Please feel free to let us know what you think of this lens, our demo video, or the "Spaghetti alla Pescatore Pazzo" recipe in general. If you've tried the recipe and/or variations of it, then we'd love to know what you think of it. Thanks for dropping by.