20-Minute Italian

20-Minute Italian

10-Minute Seafood Couscous to Feed a Crowd 

Serves 4 to 8 | Dairy-Free 

Need a fast, tasty meal to feed a large crowd? This couscous appetizer feeds up to eight people, and it’s just perfect to share. 

Inspired by a traditional Sicilian recipe—Couscous alla Trapanese—this quick version is loaded with flavor but ready in a fraction of the time, so you have more time to chat and mingle! 

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided 

1 clove garlic 

1 lb fresh mussels, scrubbed and cleaned 

1⁄2 cup white wine 

14 oz fresh calamari, cleaned and cut into rings 

Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved and deseeded 

8 fresh shrimp, cleaned 

1 tsp double-concentrated tomato paste 

2 tbsp warm water 

Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper 

7 oz couscous (uncooked) 

A pinch of saffron 

1 cup hot fish or vegetable stock 

1 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped 

Heat 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the garlic in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the mussels, followed by the white wine, and sauté them for 2 minutes. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer until the mussels open, about 2 minutes. Discard the garlic clove and the mussels that did not open, then pour their juice through a sieve. Set both the cooked mussels and their filtered juice aside. 

Return the pan to the heat with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Add the calamari and tomatoes, and sauté them for 2 minutes. Fold in the shrimp, then pour in the mussel juice, the tomato paste and 2 tablespoons  of warm water. Continue to cook all the ingredients for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the mussels back to the pan, season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat. 

Place the couscous in a large bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of saffron into the stock, and pour it over the couscous. Cover the bowl and let it sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes, or until the couscous is cooked through. Fluff the couscous lightly with a fork, and transfer it to a large serving plate. Pour the seafood sauce over the couscous, and sprinkle the parsley on top. 

Reprinted with permission from 20-Minute Italian by Andrea Soranidis, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Andrea Soranidis

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