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Espagueti Frutos del Mar

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Venezuelan seafood spaghetti... I love foods with tentacles sticking out!

I used fresh heirloom tomatoes instead of canned to make my sauce, which gave a nice fresh flavor and firmer texture but needed almost twice as long to cook.

I learned there are three problems with the octopus in this recipe:

1) It's next to impossible to buy a decent octopus. At my supermarket you can buy 2 lb bags of frozen "octopus style squid", which are big squid tentacles cut into bite-sized pieces, but I didn't end up using it due to the other two issues.

2) Very few people find tentacles in their food to be charming... most will reject the dish outright.

3) There just isn't room for 2 lb of octopus in the sauce! 1 lb each of shrimp, mussels, and squid is plenty.

This recipe as written doesn't include salt in the ingredients, only in the directions... but do NOT forget it! Salt the tomato sauce, the pasta water, and the basil puree even more generously than these directions indicate.

Unless you love doing dishes, puree the garlic in oil first and then the basil puree later. You don't want any basil in the former, but a little garlic in the latter is all to the good.

You could easily substitute any firm white fish, crab legs, or clams into this dish. I actually used scallops instead of squid.

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