Seafood is consumed regularly in Tunisia because of the country’s perfect location on the Mediterranean sea. The quality of our fish and shellfish is superb. For anyone visiting, they have to try the seafood… in any form.
One dish that is found in almost every restaurant is “Spaghetti aux fruits de mer” which is spaghetti with a tomato sauce made with octopus, shrimp, mussels, and any other seafood based on season. It is a simple dish to recreate and definitely a crowd-pleaser. It packs bold flavors and vibrant colors and a ton of health benefits. Seafood is high in healthy fats such as omega-3s. It also contains good amount of zinc, vit B12, iron, and calcium.
This dish is paired perfectly with a fresh green salad. You can’t go wrong with this meal! You don’t need to go to a fancy restaurant to enjoy this dish, just simply follow my recipe and you’ve got yourself a restaurant-worthy meal. Bon appétit!
INGREDIENTS: (serves 3)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 head of garlic
- 6 tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of tomato paste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 small octopus
- 10-12 pieces of shrimp
- 15-20 mussels
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp coriander & caraway
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 handful of parsley
- 400 gr spaghetti
- Start by cutting the onions. garlic and tomatoes into quarter. Add those ingredients to a food processor/blender with a bit of water. Once you get a puré, add the sauce to the pot with the olive oil. Turn on the heat to medium and let it simmer while adding water as it cooks.
- While the sauce is cooking, prep the octopus. Wash it well. Make sure you rub the tentacles because sometimes there is dirt stuck in the suckers. Cut each tentacles and the head while removing the skin of the head. Set all these in a separate bowl.
- Check on the sauce and add water if it evaporated. Add the spices to the sauce. Then add the octopus. Add some more water until it is well covered, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer. Note: if the octopus is small, it should cook in 30-45 min. If the tentacles are thick, it would take an hour or more.
- 10-15 min before turning off the heat, let salted water boil in a different pot for the pasta. Add the shrimp & the mussels to the sauce and cover. Make sure to use the shrimp heads because they add a ton of flavor.
- Chop the parsley while everything is cooking. Once the sauce and pasta are ready, remove the seafood from the sauce for easier use, add the pasta and parsley to the sauce and mix well.
- Serve the pasta and decorate the plate with the seafood, and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately. Bon appétit!
This Tunisian Seafood Pasta recipe is part of the #TasteTunisia initiative launched by Carthage Magazine. In search of Tunisian cuisine, through a series of articles/videos, Carthage Magazine offers a window to the Tunisian food, recipes and how they are prepared.
The Taste Tunisia initiative is supported by Carthage Magazine and led by international registered dietitians-nutritionists from Tunisia, making it the ultimate initiative that celebrates and promotes Tunisian cuisine.
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- The Famous “Khobz Ch3ir” — Tunisian Barley Bread
- Tunisia’s Octopus Salad: The Best Tunisian Seafood Salad
- Tajine El Bey: Tunisia’s Finest Appetizer
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