3 tablespoons Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil Originale
1 white onion diced
6 garlic cloves crushed
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes + extra to serve
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 x 700g passata
1 cup water
1 lemon + extra to serve
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
500g live mussels cleaned and de-bearded.
300g blue swimmer crab broken into parts (optional)
500g green prawns peeled and de-veined
300g white firm fish such as Rockling, cut into thick slices
½ cup pasta water
In a large pot on a low heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and red chilli flakes and cook for a further 2 minutes while stirring often to ensure the garlic does not burn. You want your garlic and onion to be translucent and fragrant. Turn the heat up to medium and add your tomato paste. Cook for 4 minutes stirring occasionally until the paste has turned a dark red colour and is starting to stick to the pan. Add the passata, water, juice from the lemon, sugar and salt and pepper to the pot and stir together. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat all the way down so your sauce can be on a low simmer. Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes. Taste your sauce as it cooks and continue to season to your liking. While your sauce is cooking prepare your seafood and set to the side.
In a separate pot with heavily salted boiling hot water, cook your pasta. Take your pasta out several minutes before the suggested cooking time as it will continue to cook when we throw it in with the sauce. Drain your pasta and reserve ½ cup water.
Throw your mussels and crab into the pot with the sauce, turn the heat up to medium and cover the pot with a lid. Steam the mussels and crabs for 4 – 5 minutes or until the mussels have opened and crab has turned red. Discard any mussels that do not open. Take the mussels and crab out of the pot and set to the side. Add the remainder of the seafood into the pot with the sauce and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. You want your seafood to still be slightly translucent as when you transfer your pasta to the pot it will continue to cook.
Transfer the pasta and pasta water to the pot with the sauce, lower the heat and cook for 2 minutes. Return the mussels and crab to the pot and toss through. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of red chilli flakes and a squeeze of lemon.