Mezze Rigatoni with Cuttlefish, Crab, Tomatoes and Green Peas

The cuttlefish is sauteed, then tossed in a simple tomato sauce with the lump crab meat and pasta. The green pea sauce goes on the bottom of the plate for color, and a little bit of vegetal sweetness. This was served at the 2015 Flavor Experience conference.

3 pounds Barilla Mezze Rigatoni
1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3 cups green peas
salt and pepper
6 cloves minced garlic
3 pounds fresh or frozen cuttlefish, cleaned and julienned
3 pounds plum tomatoes, blanched and diced
3 pounds lump crab meat
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  1. Cook the Barilla pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel pans and cool in a blast chiller. Alternatively, cool it down in a walk-in cooler. Store in zip lock bags or sealed plastic container; refrigerate and use within several hours.
  2. Sweat the onions with about 6 tablespoons oil. Stir in the peas and some pasta cooking water; season with salt and pepper. Process in a blender until pureed, adding more water as needed to make a sauce. Set aside.

For each serving, to order:

  1. Saute a pinch of garlic in 1/2 teaspoon oil. Add 2 ounces cuttlefish and sear, then add 2 ounces tomatoes, 2 tablespoons crab, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Reheat 1 1/4 cups pasta in simmering water. Drain and add it to the sauce. Stir in a pinch of parsley.
  3. Drizzle some pea sauce on a plate and center the pasta and sauce. Drizzle with more olive oil.