Pasta marinara



Recipe by
Enrico Cerea

Contaminated by his father Vittorio's passion for cuisine, Chef Enrico Cerea grew up among pots, pans and stoves. Today we had the honor of hosting him in our kitchen and he decided to prepare one of his first recipes, perhaps the one that launched his career. Pasta Marinara is a recipe of simple, yet intense flavors...a dish for sharing with all the family, on a special occasion! The secret to a starred dish lies in the selection of ingredients: seafood must be fresh and not overcooked; this is the only way to guarantee a tender and juicy preparation! A scenographic and genuine dish that will impress your guests!?


Tomato puree 2 ¼ cups (500 g)
Scampi 4
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Fine salt to taste
Datterino tomatoes 11 oz (300 g)
Prawns 4
Garlic 1 clove
Dried chili pepper to taste
Mezzi paccheri pasta 11 oz (320 g)
Scallops 4 - with shell
Basil to taste
Water 1 glass
Shrimp paste 28
Parsley to taste
For cooking mussels and clams
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Garlic 1 clove
Mussels 28
Clams 28

Clean seafood

To prepare pasta Marinara, start by cleaning seafood. Start by cleaning the clams. First of all, make sure there are no broken or empty shells and discard them immediately. Now beat them against a cutting board to eliminate any sand inside 1. Place the clams in a colander over a bowl and rinse them 2. Place the colander in another bowl, fill with water and add abundant coarse salt, to recreate a sort of sea water. Leave the clams to soak for 2-3 hours 3. This will flush out any remaining sand.

Now clean the mussels. Rinse them under running water. Take a small knife and remove any encrustations 4 and vigorously remove the beard, or byssus, emerging from the valve 5. Once more, under fresh running water and using a steel scrub pad, energetically rub the mussels to remove any impurities 6.

Now for the scallops. Remove them from the shell 7, but don't throw it away because we will use it for decorating. Eliminate the coral 8 and leave to one side 9.

Take the red king prawns, leave the head on and remove the shell 10, then make a delicate incision on the back 11 and devein 12 to remove the sandiest part.

Now take the pink shrimps, remove the shell and leave the head on 13. Now arrange the scampi on a cutting board and cut them in half (both body and head) 14. Leave the tail part closed and prize apart the head part 15, to unleash more flavor in the sauce, and remove the sandy vein 16.

Prepare the pasta

Add a drizzle of oil to a pan with high sides, slice into an unpeeled garlic clove 1, add it to the oil and brown. Now add the mussels 2 and clams 3.

Cover with the lid immediately 4, so that they open up with the heat. To turn them over without removing the lid, you can saute them, use a serving cloth so that you don't burn yourself. In this way those underneath with emerge on top. As soon as they all open, remove the lid and stir with a skimmer 5. Do not cook them for too long otherwise they will become dry. Use the skimmer again to drain and place the mussels and clams on a tray 7, but leave the sauce inside the pan.

Remove the garlic 8. Clean around half of the clams and half of the mussels 8, remove them from the shell. The others will be used to garnish the dish. In the meantime, the clams will have purged any sand, which will deposit at the bottom of the pan. Now place a colander over a bowl and delicately filter the sauce 9, be careful not to add the sediment.

In this way you will obtain the cooking water of the mussels and clams 10. Now take a large pan. Add a drizzle of oil and a peeled garlic clove cut in half 11. Leave it to brown without darkening too much. Once golden, remove the pan from the heat: be careful as this operation is delicate and it is best that you are next to a sink. Now gradually pour the cooking water of the mussels and clams to the browned garlic in the pan, take care not to burn yourself because it may splash 12.

Return the pan to the stove and add a glass of water 13. Leave to boil for 3-4 minutes 16 and now add the tomato puree 14. Remove any tomato puree left in the pan by pouring in a little water and then adding it to the pan 15.

Leave to cook in this way for 10-12 minutes. In the meantime cook the mezzi paccheri in boiling water salted to taste 16, stir frequently to make sure the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Always pay attention to cooking times: our paccheri required around 20 minutes.?In the meantime cut the tomatoes in half 17. Once the 12 minutes are up, add the shrimps 18,

the scallops 19 and the king prawns 20, arrange them in an orderly and uniform way to flavor the sauce. Place the scampi on top 21,

topped by the scallop shells facing down, to create a sort of lid 22. Turn the flame up slightly and add the mussels and clams that have not been removed from the shell 23. If the sauce becomes too dense, add a ladle of pasta cooking water 24.

Now add the tomatoes 27. Leave the sauce to simmer for a few minutes on a low flame. Now place the shells and scampi on a tray 26 so that only the sauce remains in the pan. Drain the pasta and place it in the pan with sauce 27.

Saute for a few moments and add a drizzle of oil 28. Now use a skewer to place all the pasta in a serving dish 29 and arrange all the seafood on top of it 30.

Bring the remaining sauce back to the boil in the pan 31 and pour it over the pasta 32. Finely chop some basil and parsley 33;

sprinkle over the pasta, together with the chili pepper 35. Garnish with a drizzle of oil; arrange the scampi, scallop shells and serve 36.


Pasta Marinara is best served as soon as it is ready.


Be sure to place it on dishes fast; it is important that the pasta arrives at the table piping hot. Use a copper pan, apart from being aesthetically more pleasing, the pasta will stay hotter for longer.