Image Credit to:Ryan Alexander Chin
The term, “pescatora” is commonly used in Italian restaurants to represent seafood dishes. In fact, anything with “alla pescatora” on the menu means it is served with a concoction of seafood, typically shrimp, squid, fish (mostly salmon or dory) and mussels.
In Malaysia, you can’t go wrong with a dish containing seafood or alla pescatora unless you are, of course, allergic to seafood or shellfish.
The different types of Pescatora dishes
Pescatora is a common term in Italian cooking and commonly represents the usage of seafood in a dish. Traditionally, Pescatora is often used with Spaghetti. Spaghetti alla Pescatora is a common dish which refers to it prepared by a fisherman’s wife and typically uses marinara sauce. Besides spaghetti, pescatora pasta dishes can also be prepared with tagliatelle and linguine.
Today, pescatora can be used to make more than just spaghetti. Besides serving it with marinara sauce to make seafood pasta, one can also use the seafood concoction to make Risotto alla Pescatora – an Italian rice dish that is cooked using Arborio rice (short-grain rice) and a delicate cooking method. Unlike our usual whole-grain rice, Arborio rice is heated in a low-heat pan before slowly adding in fresh seafood broth that should be prepared earlier. The seafood broth is added one spoonful at a time until it reaches the right consistency. The cooked risotto is then tossed with pescatora just before serving.
Some restaurants also offer Pescatora Pizza where they use the same seafood ingredients on a fresh oven-baked pizza, marinara sauce and basil leaves.
Preparing a dish with Pescatora
Preparing a dish with pescatora can be a bit tricky. Different types of seafood cook at different speeds and if you throw in different types of seafood into a pan at once, you risk getting inconsistently cooked seafood on your plate. Shrimp, mussels and calamari require less time to cook compared to fish, for example. Overcooked calamari can taste like rubber whereas overcooked shrimp and mussels would shrink and taste dry.
The best way to prepare pescatora is to cook the seafood halfway and season them separately. This way, it is easier to ensure that the seafood is cooked thoroughly. Once the different seafood is cooked, you can toss it into the dish right before serving. The heat from the food will still cook the seafood therefore it is important to serve the dish immediately.
Nutritional Value in Pescatora
Seafood is a good source of calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium. If you want to increase your red blood cells count, a good meal of pescatora can definitely help. Depending on the type of seafood used in the pescatora, it can also be a source of good fats. Salmon, for example, is known to be rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is important for our heart and brain function. Shellfish like shrimp and mussels contains nutrients that are beneficial for our brain as well.
In fact, they also aid in weight loss and boosts the immune system.While seafood is known to be beneficial to our health, it is a common allergen that may an allergic reaction. Thus, those who are allergic to seafood should avoid pescatora dishes.
Where to get Pescatora dishes in Malaysia
Malaysians love seafood so it quite easy to look for dishes which feature seafood. However, if you want to enjoy a good, classic Italian pescatora dish from the comfort of your own home, you can get the Pescatora Pizza from Luce Osteria Contemporanea delivered to you. Do note that the restaurant is non-halal. Otherwise, you can get the Tagliatelle alla Pescatora from Tosca in Doubletree by Hilton at Jalan Tun Razak.
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