Rice-shaped pasta with seafood, arugula, and roasted vegetables


by: Bizzum Cook

One of the most neglected of Italy's pastas is the rice-shaped little pasta chunk called orzo. Orzo is Italian for "barley." The name presumably comes from the pasta's appearance, but orzo is made from wheat semolina.


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serves: 4

1 2/3 cups (350 g) rice-shaped pasta, such as orzo or puntalette

1 small eggplant (cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes)

1 red onion (cut into thin wedges)

1 red bell pepper (seeded and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces)

1 plum tomato (cut into thin wedges)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1 lb (450 g) mussels (cleaned)

4 oz (100 g) prepared squid

4 oz (100 g) peeled cooked small shrimp

3 in sun-dried tomatoes oil (drained and thinly sliced)

1 medium-hot red chile pepper (seeded and minced)

1/4 cup (25 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

5 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 oz (50 g) arugula

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Facts
Rice-shaped pasta with seafood, arugula, and roasted vegetables

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 958

  • Total Fat: 28.7 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 4.5 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 166.7 mg
  • Sodium: 741.2 mg
  • Total Carbs: 130.5 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 14.7 g
  •     Sugars: 10 g
  • Protein: 49.9 g

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1.  Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Bring a large pan of well-salted water (1 teaspoon salt to each 2 1/2 cups/600 ml water) to a boil in a large pan. Add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes, or until al dente, then drain and let cool.

2.  Meanwhile, put the eggplant, onion, bell pepper, and tomato into a bowl with the garlic, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and the sea salt, and mix together well. Spread out in a small roasting pan, place in the oven, and roast for about 30 minutes or until well colored around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool.

3.  Put the mussels into a large pan with a splash of water, cover, and cook over a high heat for 3 to 4 minutes until they have opened. Tip into a colander and let cool slightly. Then remove the mussels from the shells and set aside.

4.  Hold the squid's body in one hand and the head with the other, and gently pull the head away from the body, taking the milky white intestines with it.

5.  Remove the tentacles from the head by cutting them off just in front of the eyes. Discard the head and separate the tentacles if they are large.

6.  Squeeze out the beak-like mouth from the center of the tentacles and discard it.

7.  If you want to retain the ink sac, look among the intestines for a very small, pearly white pouch with a slight blue tinge and carefully cut it away.

8.  Reach into the body and pull out the clear, plastic-like quill.

9.  Pull off the two fins from either side of the body pouch. Then pull away the brown, semi-transparent skin from both the body and the fins. Wash out the body pouch with water.

10.  Insert the blade of a sharp, thin-bladed, flexible knife into the opening of the body pouch and slit it open along one side. Open it out flat and pull away any remaining intestines and membrane.

11.  Score what was the inner side in a diamond pattern using the tip of a small, sharp knife, taking care not to cut too deeply. Then cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) squares and set aside.

12.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a frying pan. Add the squid and fry over a high heat for 2 1/2 minutes, until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.

13.  When the pasta, roasted vegetables, mussels, and squid are all cold, put them into a large bowl with the remaining olive oil, the shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, chile, Parmesan cheese, vinegar, 1/4 cup of the parsley, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 10 turns of the pepper mill. Toss together lightly, then fold in the arugula. Spoon the salad onto a large serving platter and sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley.

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