Seafood pasta marinara is such a delicious & impressive dish. Thankfully, making seafood pasta marinara at home couldn’t be easier.
It is quick enough to prepare and cook to enjoy on busy weeknights. And, if you make a large platter of it, it also makes for a relaxed but indulgent weekend gathering.
Here are my tips and tricks to set you on your way to Seafood pasta marinara success (& high-fives around the table) time and time again. But first, let’s address the elephant in the room.
The word ‘Marinara’ to most of the world, correctly means tomato sauce. For some reason though, in Australia, If you say or order Marinara pasta, it is confused with what is actually seafood pasta in a tomato (marinara) sauce.
Tips and tricks:
- Marinara sauce: This is a simple tomato sauce that is very versatile.
If you use my recipe for this versatile marina sauce you will have so many dinners on the ready.
This is a lovely simple marinara pasta sauce and it is great for pizza bases also. It can also be used as the tomato topping for Prawn Saganaki or Chicken parma.
It is especially wonderful for this Seafood pasta marinara as we will discover and enjoy today.
This sauce can be used straight away or stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months. If you have made the marinara sauce in advance, this seafood pasta marina will be ready in a flash.
- Can seafood pasta be made with white sauce? Yes, it sure can. This dish is called Aglio Olio. Omit the marinara sauce & loosen the sauce with a little fish stock, if required. Lemon zest & juice is a lovely addition to this dish.
- The seafood: If you shop with a good fishmonger or at the fish market, you might just find they prepare and sell fabulous seafood mix that is ready to use. Alternatively, a good mix of good quality seafood is what you are seeking. Think prawns, fish, scallops, clams, mussels, calamari.
Seafood pasta marinara comes down to the quality of the seafood as well as the well-flavoured sauce. In fear of sounding like a food snob, I do strongly discourage buying seafood mix from your local supermarket.
Another must is to always cook the seafood in the pan before adding the sauce. This will create great base flavours in your pan. Cook the seafood in order of its size with the largest pieces going in first.
- The Pasta: Typically for seafood pasta marina, spaghetti is the most popular choice of pasta. Fettucini or Linguini are also great choices. Dried pasta is perfectly fine although you may note I have made this dish with homemade fresh pasta linguini.
Get your pasta water on the go around the same time as commencing this sauce. This way everything will come together at similar time.
As a good guide, allow 100g pasta per person regardless of whether it is fresh or dried pasta.
- Pasta water: Reserve about a cup of pasta water: Don’t be tempted to scoop out some pasta water too early. You want the water to be very starchy, and waiting until the pasta is cooked and the water has maximum starch is vital.
This starchy water emulsifies with the pasta and marinara sauce and is essential to the finished dish.
This recipe is especially for a long time customer of Relish Mama, Elaine Mastos. Elaine recently asked about a good recipe for Seafood pasta marinara for her Christmas table this year inside our Relish Mama cooking club. It is a pleasure to share this here for Elaine and…………….
It is a pleasure to be sharing this recipe with everyone here in this special community also.
With love & wishing you happy days always,
For more great recipes like this one and lots of dinner inspiration, we’d love to sign and send and copy of the Relish Mama cookbooks direct to your door. Consider them your new best friend in the kitchen.
Seafood pasta marinara
- Frying pan
- Large pasta pot
- Chopping board
- 80 ml olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves finely diced or crushed
- 600 g Seafood mix see note
- 6 King prawns whole & unpeeled (optional) - see note
- 60 ml olive oil extra virgin
- 1 onion finely diced
- ¼ teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
- 200 ml white wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 700 ml passata or use 2 x 400g tins of good quality diced Italian tomatoes or when tomatoes are in season + ½ cup of additional water if using tinned tomatoes.
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- Sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 handful of torn basil leaves or substitute for 2-3 tablespoons of roughly chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
- Freshly grated nutmeg optional
- 500 g Spaghetti or fettucini or linguini
- Heat 40ml of the olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat.
- Cook the seafood, starting from the largest pieces first. Add fish and large prawns first. Cook for no more than 30 seconds, tossing always. Continue with scallops, clams and calamari (or your choice of seafood mix). Cook for 30 seconds to one minute. Immediately transfer the seafood onto a plate.
- Add the remaining 40 ml of oil. Add the onion and cook for approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently. It should be soft and very aromatic.
- Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the wine – it should be sizzling. Swirl the pan gently to deglaze the pan & lift up all the base flavours.
- Add the tomato paste and the passata (or tomatoes) and the sugar.
- Season well with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Add roughly torn basil and grated nutmeg and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Whilst the marinara sauce is finishing its cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta according to packet directions. If it is fresh pasta you are using, it will float to the surface after just a few minutes – indicating it is cooked. Strain but reserve one cup of the starchy pasta water.
- Add the seafood to the marinara sauce.
- Add the strained pasta to the marinara sauce. Loosen with ½ a cup of the pasta water and toss to combine well. Add the remaining pasta water only if it is required.
- Serve in pasta bowls or on a large platter for all to help themselves to. Top with additional basil or Italian parsley.