This easy pasta pescatore recipe is a classic seafood pasta dish made with prawns, calamari rings, squid and mussels in a tangy tomato sauce, with my secret ingredient for extra oomph! Ready in less than half an hour. Why not bring a little bit of Italy into your kitchen tonight.
Pasta pescatore (easy seafood pasta)
Sometimes you look at the recipe and wonder why so few ingredients can turn into such a delicious meal. This is one of those times. This quick and easy recipe for pasta pescatore only uses 5 main ingredients, plus garlic, chilli and olive oil for flavouring, but the taste is restaurant quality. If you are missing your visits to the local pizzeria then this recipe is definitely worth a try.
I use a packet of frozen pre-cooked seafood mix, that contains mussels, calamari, prawns and clams. In addition I add frozen raw prawns (shrimp to my US readers) that I cut in half so that all the pieces of seafood are the same size.
The entire dish is made from scratch, including the tomato sauce and takes around 20 minutes, start to finish.
You can use any of the long pasta shapes for this dish. I like to use linguine, but spaghetti or even tagliatelle would work just as well. I love the way the garlicky tomato sauce coats each strand.
Aside from the pasta, here is the complete list of ingredients.
- A tin of tomatoes (with herbs if you can get it). Otherwise just add some dried mixed herbs
- Garlic (obviously – this is an Italian dish after all 🙂 )
- Frozen seafood mix
- Prawns – buy frozen raw prawns that have been pre-shelled.
- Chilli – this is my secret ingredient. Just 1/2 teaspoon of chilli (from a jar) makes this sauce really come alive. If you don’t like chilli, or just want a mild sauce, feel free to leave it out.
- Olive oil – for frying the onions
How to make easy pasta pescatore
Get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making pasta pescatore on the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Prepare the seafood
- Defrost all the frozen seafood. Don’t drain any juices from the bag, there’s lots of flavour in there and it can be added to the sauce.
- You can leave the seafood in the fridge to defrost, or if you are in a hurry, just pop the bag of frozen seafood in a bowl of warm (not hot) water. It doesn’t take very long at all to defrost.
- Once the prawns have defrosted, cut them in half. If you prefer you can just leave them whole.
Make the sauce
- Peel the onions and garlic cloves, then place them in a food processor and whizz them around briefly until they approximately the size of grains of rice (image 1 above). If you are using fresh chilli, clean the chilli and remove the seeds then add the chilli to the food processor along with the garlic and onions.
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop everything by hand, but it will just take a lot longer.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onions and minced garlic (image 2 above). Allow to saute over a low heat (with the lid on) while you prepare the tomatoes.
- Open the tin of tomatoes and pour it into the food processor. Add the dried mixed herbs if you are using them, and process until smooth (image 3 above).
- Now add the tomatoes to the onions in the pan (image 4 above). Cover with a lid and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the onions have softened.
- Add the seafood, along with any juices from defrosting, stir through, then bring to the boil. Once it has come to the boil, turn down the heat and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
Cook the pasta
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet (or follow my instruction below).
You will need approximately 3oz dried pasta per person (or 100g). This is approxiately equal to 1 cup of cooked pasta. It you have a larger appetite, or are cooking this recipe for more than 4 people, adjust the portions accordingly.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to a strong boil.
- Stand the pasta in the boiling water until it has softened sufficiently to allow you to press it down until it is all submerged.
- Allow it to boil for about 7 minutes until it is cooked to your liking. Diferent brands of pasta cook at different times, so use your own judgement on this.
- Test by removing one strand of pasta from the water and tasting it. If it is soft enough, then pour the pasta through a colander to drain.
- Add the drained pasta immediately to the sauce and mix through thoroughly.
- Tip into a serving bowl and serve with garlic bread and a green leafy salad with cherry tomatoes.
- Alternatively, serve the pasta in individual bowls and ladle the sauce on top.
Convert grams to cups
To help you convert your recipe measurements, I have created a handy Cookery Conversion Calculator which will convert ingredients between grams, ounces, tablespoons, cups and millilitres. I hope you will find it useful.
If you live at a high altitude you may find you need to adjust your baking recipes to compensate for this. You can read about how to do this in this post on baking at high altitudes.
Pin for later
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Recipe – Simple Pasta Pescatore (seafood pasta)
Easy Pasta Pescatore (seafood pasta)
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- Food processor
- Frying Pan
- 12 oz (400g) spaghetti, linguine or tagliatelle
- 2 medium onions finely chopped
- 14 oz (400g) tinned tomatoes (with herbs) or add 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs to plain tinned tomatoes
- 2 cloved finely minced garlic or 1 teaspoon from a jar
- ½ teaspoon chilli from a jar or you can chop a small fresh chilli with the onions.
- 14 oz (400g) frozen seafood mix
- 7 oz (200g) frozen raw prawns (shelled)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying the onions
- 1 teaspoon salt optional – for cooking the pasta
- Peel the onions and garlic cloves then place them in a food processor and pulse until they have been chopped to the size of rice grains.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sweat the onions gently while you prepare the tomatoes
- Place the tomatoes in the food processor. If you are using mixed herbs add these too. Process until smooth.
- Pour the tomatoes into the onions, add the chilli, cover with a lid and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft.
- Add the seafood mix, bring to the boil then turn the heat down and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain though a colander then mix the pasta through the sauce.
- Serve immediately with garlic bread and a green leafy salad with cherry tomatoes.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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