Oven-Baked Seafood Spaghetti (Spaghetti al Cartoccio)

Seafood spaghetti

Keat Soo Lee / EyeEm / Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
888 Calories
28g Fat
57g Carbs
97g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 888
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 257mg 86%
Sodium 2615mg 114%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 97g
Vitamin C 97mg 483%
Calcium 234mg 18%
Iron 21mg 118%
Potassium 1884mg 40%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

One of the most spectacular ways to serve pasta is al cartoccio—boiled, sauced, then wrapped in parchment paper (or aluminum foil) and baked. This might sound like an odd preparation method, but your guests will greet the arrival of the packets at the table with mounting anticipation that will turn to joy as they open them.

This traditional Italian recipe calls for a variety of shellfish, many of which are strictly Mediterranean and difficult to find outside of that area. This updated version omits the more obscure shellfish. If the shells of the shellfish (clams, etc.) are pretty, scrub them very well before you begin making the sauce, and don't shuck them after they have opened: Put them—shells and all—in the cartoccio and they'll add a special touch to the finished dish.

[Edited by Danette St. Onge]


  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 fresh red chile pepper, seeded, thinly sliced

  • 20 small squid, or calamari, optional

  • 20 clams

  • 16 mussels

  • 16 prawns, or large shrimp

  • 3 moderately ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded, finely chopped

  • 5 fresh basil leaves

  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

  • 3/4 pound dried spaghetti

  • Fine sea salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Wash all the shellfish very well. Set a pot with 3 quarts of lightly salted water to boil over high heat.

  2. In the meantime, pour the olive oil into a large skillet and add the garlic, the chile pepper, and the seafood. Cook over a low flame for 5 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes, basil, and parsley. Simmer for 15 minutes.

  3. Preheat your oven to 450 F (250 C).

  4. Keep an eye on the pasta pot as the sauce simmers, and when the water boils add the pasta. Let it cook until half done (usually about 4 minutes), then drain it well in a colander and transfer it while it is still dripping to the skillet with the sauce.

  5. Toss the pasta-and-sauce mixture by moving the skillet as you would if you were flipping an omelet. Roll out a long sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper and fold up the sides to make a box-like container.

  6. Transfer the pasta to the container, fold the aluminum foil or paper over it, and crimp the edges together to make a sealed pouch (you can also make individual pouches for your guests if you wish).

  7. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, at which point the pouch will have puffed up. Slide it onto a serving dish and open it at the table.

Recipe Variation

Instead of large tomatoes, use 10 to 15 cherry tomatoes cut in half.

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