A very simple riff on spaghetti a la vongole (or little manila clams), based on the contents of our deep freeze… Set a pot of water on high heat and when it comes to a boil add a small handful of salt. Add the spaghetti noodles and immediately turn on another burner to high heat. Place a large skillet on the burner, and when hot, add several tablespoons (5-6) of olive oil. Add 3-4 cloves of garlic, thinly slivered and sauté for a few seconds until fragrant, add some dried chili pepper flakes or fresh siling labuyo if you prefer.
Immediately add some baby octopus, tentacles only, shelled baby mussels and some de-veined shrimp and let this cook for a minute or two. Add a cup or so of white wine and let this all come to a gurgle and burn off the alcohol. Do not be alarmed if the skillet seems to be swimming in liquid, that’s all the water coming out of the seafood and it is flavorful, particularly when it is reduced to concentrate the essence of seafood. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked al dente noodles directly to the skillet with seafood and mix thoroughly over low heat. Add some pasta water if it looks a bit dry. Drizzle with more olive oil, and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
So quick and so easy. And the taste is more complex than you would imagine for so little effort. After a few minutes, any liquid in the serving dish will probably be absorbed by the noodles. I know it is considered a SERIOUS NO-NO to mix cheese with seafood pasta, but I tried a bit of freshly grated parmesan on a portion of my spaghetti and it tasted wonderful, despite the rules. We had this large platter of pasta along with a generous salad bar, and several home-baked pizzas as well. Very satisfying.