Selecting a favourite pasta is like selecting a favourite outfit: An clearly inconceivable process, and but there are these you retain coming again to, riffing on endlessly till you’re certain you’ve exhausted all combos, then nonetheless discovering extra to like. For me, that pasta is that this briny, tomatoey, nearly stewlike seafood quantity. (Please don’t ask me to decide on a favourite outfit.)
I at all times begin with a fundamental, lighter-than-usual tomato sauce, utilizing canned, peeled tomatoes and thick slices of garlic toasted in olive oil. I add a couple of hunks of delicate, agency fleshed fish like cod, halibut or swordfish, to softly poach within the brothy tomatoes, and some unpeeled shrimp, the flavour of their shells flavoring all the things within the pot. (In the event you favor shrimp that’s already peeled, that’s O.Ok.) After all the things mingles collectively for a couple of minutes, it turns into the sauce desires are manufactured from, born to coat fats tubes or skinny strands of al dente pasta.
The remainder depends upon my temper and on the kind of seafood obtainable to me when the craving strikes, which is … nicely, typically. I’ve made variations that includes recent squid, minimize into bite-size rings and simmered within the sauce; oily sardines seared on the facet and served on high; and complete tins of salty anchovies melted into olive oil alongside a wholesome pinch of chile flakes.
The fantastic thing about this methodology of making ready seafood, aside from the apparent (there’s pasta concerned), is that it’s practically inconceivable to overcook, dry out or — everybody’s worst fish-based concern — get caught to the pan. The seafood additionally subtly flavors the sauce, making it style way more advanced than it should contemplating the variety of components you’re utilizing. Consider it as a really informal, one-pot bouillabaisse with half the steps and performed in a fraction of the time, and the place nearly any seafood is welcome.
Toss in a last-minute handful of crushed inexperienced olives, a smattering of parsley leaves and a drizzle of good olive oil, and also you’re in enterprise. In the event you have been feeling particularly in want of additional carbs (and who isn’t, actually), that is the precise dish you’d wish to serve with toasted garlic bread on the facet. Use it to take in any further sauce the rigatoni didn’t get to when you polish off these shrimp, and take into consideration how good it’s to have discovered your new favourite pasta.
Recipes and columns by Alison Roman