You can pick up Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Marea’s mouthwatering Italian seafood fare from the New York City restaurant at the base of Central Park. But ambitious home cooks — or those eager to change up their meals — can make the newest pasta plate on its takeout menu: rigatoni with seppia, shrimp, peas and pecorino fonduta.
“This dish is a classic in the Marea repertoire, as well as a major fan favorite,” says Lauren DeSteno, the corporate executive chef of Altamarea Group, whose stable of restaurants includes Marea, Ai Fiori and Vaucluse. “With spring slowly trying to poke through, peas have become available and they are a welcome pop of color and flavor in this dish.”
“This dish is quite unconventional; the combination of shellfish and cheese is not common — even considered taboo by some — but it works incredibly well together,” DeSteno says. “The cuttlefish [which tastes like squid] and shrimp both have a bit of sweetness on their own, but are complemented by the earthy-sweetness of the garlic and the peas.
“This all gets balanced by a bit of dry white wine and then brought together by the fonduta,” she says. “We use both pecorino and Parmigiano in the sauce, giving the dish a bit of bite and the inherent umami that brings it all together.”
Read on for Marea’s rigatoni recipe.
Serves 6 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup finely grated pecorino Romano
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound cleaned cuttlefish or squid, medium diced
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and medium diced
1 cup peas
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
To make the fonduta:
- Put the cream in a small heavy saucepan, bring to a simmer over low heat and reduce by half, about 8 minutes.
- Whisk in the Parmigiano and 1/3 cup of the pecorino.
- Remove the pan from the heat and keep covered and warm.
To make the pasta:
- Fill a large pot about two-thirds full with water, salt it liberally and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes.
Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and tip and tilt the pot to coat it, heating the oil until it is shimmering and almost smoking. Add the garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the diced shrimp and cuttlefish (or squid) and cook, until the shrimp is opaque, about 2 minutes.
When the pasta is done, use a heatproof liquid measuring cup to scoop out and reserve about 1 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
Pour in the wine and use the wooden spoon to loosen any flavorful bits cooked onto the bottom of the pot. Cook until the pan is almost dry, about 4 minutes, then pour in about 1/3 cup of the pasta water and bring it to a simmer. Add the fonduta and stir until incorporated.
Peas inject some color and spring flavor; toss in 1 cup of cooked green peas when you put the cooked pasta into the sauce pot. The pasta water is a secret weapon in this dish — the starch in it will help the sauce emulsify and coat the rigatoni.
Add the cooked pasta to the pot, along with the remaining 1/4 cup pecorino and parsley, and toss well. The sauce should be moist but not soupy. If it is too dry, adjust the consistency with a little of the reserved pasta liquid; if it is too wet, continue to cook and toss until thickened. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
Divide the pasta among plates or wide shallow bowls and serve at once.
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