Italian food authority Francine Segan’s cookbooks are must-reads for any fan of pasta, particularly her newest: Pasta Modern: New and Inspired Recipes From Italy. Abandon your red sauce craving and dive into the best, newest and certainly most inspired recipes from Italy we’ve seen in recent memory.
Italy’s amazingly creative two-star Michelin chef Davide Scabin invented “pasta sushi” a few years ago by substituting pasta shells for the white rice, making beautiful, Japanese-inspired but Italian flavored, one-bite appetizers. Genius!
He seasons the shells with a splash of rice vinegar and few drops of mirin, a sweet Japanese rice wine, then lets his imagination rip, filling the shells with any sort of seafood, cooked or raw, garnished in myriad ways. Try combos—like poached lobster topped with caviar, diced tuna, or a raw oyster—or create your own. You can fill them all the same, or make an assortment, just calculate about 4 pasta shells per serving and a heaping tablespoon of filling for each.
Chef Scabin loves the idea because it showcases how versatile Italian pasta is and how easily it crosses over into other cuisines. I love it because now I can make my own Italian-style sushi at home in minutes!
- 4 large pasta shells per person, preferably Felicetti brand
- rice wine vinegar or lemon juice, to taste
- mirin or sweet marsala or sherry, to taste
- raw fish such as tuna or salmon, diced or thinly sliced
- oysters, raw or cooked
- sea urchin
- lobster, poached
- crab, cooked
- shrimp, cooked
- lemon or orange zest
- horseradish, grated
- scallions, chopped
- fresh fruit, diced
- burrata or other cheese
- red chili pepper
- sea salt
- Boil the pasta shells in salted water until al dente.
- Drain and toss with a splash, to taste, of rice wine vinegar and mirin.
- Spread out onto a plate and let cool to room temperature.
- Fill each shell with a tablespoon of filling.
- Garnish and season as you like.
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