Here’s another tasty and simple summer 😎 😎 😎 dish that won’t heat up your kitchen. Pasta mare e monti is a wonderful dish from the Marche region of Italy that combines the fresh summer taste of the sea (squid 🦑), the earthiness of the mountains (mixed mushrooms 🍄) and the fresh bright taste of summer’s tomato 🍅 bounty. These 3 basic ingredients make it a quick dish to prepare.
The region of Marche, the birthplace of my paternal grandfather, is blessed with a wonderful coastline and easy-to-access mountains. This mix of terrains is common in Italy, but the long sandy beaches along the Adriatic Sea in Marche hold a special meaning for me. I can imagine my grandfather as a boy walking ankle-deep in the sea, or perhaps fishing with his father from the sea wall protecting the harbor.
I made a similar themed dish from region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia all the way back in 2013. Risotto mari e monti uses shrimp and mushrooms in a risotto dish.
When I recently made this recipe I also made fresh tagliatelle, but it would also be great with long dry pastas such as spaghetti, linguini or bucatini. The sauce could also me made ahead of time and gently reheated before use. The recipe is so simple that you can add your own touches, such as a pinch of red pepper flakes, uncommon mushrooms, or the addition of some quick-cooking seafood (shrimp, scallops) at the last minute.
Cleaned squid is usually available at seafood counters and markets, but needs to be gone through because the cleaning process is never 100%. Some markets sell frozen and cleaned squid where the bodies are already cut into rings and is usually ready to use. The preparation is not difficult. Look up some Youtube videos to see how simple this is….Print
- 1 lb dry long pasta or 1½ lbs. long fresh pasta
- 1 lb “cleaned” squid (bodies and tentacles)
- 1 lb mixed mushrooms with the stems removed and thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1 glass (4 oz) of dry white wine
- 1 lb. small ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bunch parsley, big stems removed (use them in chicken stock) and minced
- Olive oil, salt and peppers
- Prepare the squid: Separate the bodies (sacs) from the tentacles. Slice the bodies into rings about ½-inch wide. Be on the lookout for any cartilage in the bodies. They resemble pieces of plastic. For the tentacles, cut off the part containing the eyes and beck if still present. Place both parts in a strainer and rinse well. Set aside to drain.
- In a pan large enough to hold the cooked pasta, add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the prepared squid, mushrooms and garlic. Sprinkle with salt. Occasionally stirring the ingredients, sauté until the squid rings become opaque – about 5-10 mins.
- Add the wine and sauté until most of it is evaporated.
- Add the prepared tomatoes. Sprinkle with a little more salt. Stir the mixture and cook until the sauce thickens. About 15 minutes.
- Add the parsley reserving a few tbsps for garnish. Stir the mixture and cook for a few minutes until the parsley loses its bright green color.
- Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (per package direction or 2 minutes short of complete cooking time).
- Reserving some pasta water, drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Over a medium heat, toss the pasta in with the sauce. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little pasta water.
- Cook until the pasta is fully cooked and well-covered in sauce, about 3 minutes.
- Serve finishing with the reserved parsley garnish.