There are many Italian Americans traditionally celebrate Christmas Eve with the Feast of Seven Fishes. Cooking seven seafood dishes can be an onerous task, especially if one person is responsible for cooking the entire meal. In my opinion, seven courses for dinner is a crazy amount of food. So, over the years I have paired our Christmas Eve dinner down to four seafood dishes at most and I try to make less complicated dishes. Afterall, you also want to be able to enjoy the evening. The first course served is usually a pasta with seafood – of course. Pasta dishes that can be made in relatively short time are my preference. Pasta with squid and shrimp is one of my favorites because it’s easy to make and requires few ingredients.
Casarecce with Squid and Shrimp
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 1/2 pounds cleaned squid, bodies cut into 1/2-inch strips widthwise and tentacles cut in half lengthwise
1 pound large shrimp, shelled, deveined, and tails removed
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Salt and pepper
1 pound casarecce or linguine pasta
Grated pecorino cheese (optional)
Directions: Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add garlic and cook over low heat until garlic begins to color, about 3 minutes. Raise heat to high and add calamari. Cook for 3 minutes. Add wine and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta to al dente. Drain well. Add the shrimp and parsley to the sauce and cook 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired. Add drained pasta and toss well. Serve with additional parsley on top and cheese if desired.