Chef Recipes

Pasta al Pomodoro Reinvented: Gianfranco Pascucci's Stellar Seafood Twist

Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina spaghetto pomodoro pascucci

An exemplary dish of Gianfranco Pascucci's recent culinary style, where the iodine flavors of the sea merge with the wild and cultivated ingredients of the hinterland. "What I was looking for was a maritime version of pasta al pomodoro, transitioning from the raw to the salty sensation of the clam, with tomatoes grown near the sea, imbued with salinity."

photo by Andrea Di Lorenzo

The dish

If there’s one restaurant revolutionizing the way seafood is cooked in Italy, it’s Da Pascucci al Porticciolo, a place where the sea merges with the land and balsamic aromas. Gianfranco Pascucci, a self-taught culinary genius, has given an original twist to pasta with a recipe that blends two Italian classics: the timeless spaghetti al pomodoro and marinara.

pascucci al porticciolo sala2 2024 06 14 00 33 45
gianfranco pascucci e vanessa 2024 06 14 00 33 45

Pascucci started experimenting with the dish last year, aiming to create a maritime version of pasta al pomodoro that transitions from raw to the saline sensation of clams, using tomatoes grown near the sea, hence rich in iodine. "It's fundamentally a tomato pasta. In our garden in Fiumicino, we planted tomatoes and made a preserve, which we experimented with by adding fish skins or infused seaweeds and herbs. And we really liked the result," explains Pascucci.

Ritratto Gianfranco Pascucci Vert 2 Andrea Di Lorenzo 2024 06 14 00 33 45

The pasta is kept very al dente and finishes cooking in this flavored sauce, which gains a somewhat sticky texture from the fish collagen. Pascucci reminisces about his childhood memories of ladies bringing pasta to the beach, which remained slightly cold but was delicious. To enhance the seafood flavor, there's a powder made from mussels, crustaceans, and local herbs, lightly marinated raw fish, and a reduction made from local lupine clams blended with their own water.

staff pascucci al porticciolo 2024 06 14 00 33 46

"This is a dish I particularly enjoy in its simplicity. It's also good when lukewarm and very silky, breaking away from the cliché of marinara with cherry tomatoes. You can even pair it with a nice rosé from Ponza," Pascucci adds, sharing his enthusiasm for pairing his creation with a suitable wine.

This innovative approach not only highlights Pascucci’s creative prowess but also his commitment to bringing the essence of the sea to traditional Italian pasta dishes, offering a new culinary experience that respects both the ingredients and the cultural history behind them.


Gianfranco pascucci Spaghetti al pomodoro di mare e gallinella 2024 06 14 00 33 45


For tomato sauce

  • Tomatoes: Use 1 kg of ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped.
  • Red Algae: 100 g to infuse the sauce with a hint of the ocean.
  • Fish Skins: 100 g to enhance the umami.
  • Garlic: 1 clove for a subtle depth of flavor.
  • Basil: A bunch to add freshness.
  • Olive Oil: Enough to sauté and enrich the sauce.
  • Salt: To taste.

Combine tomatoes, salt, olive oil, basil, and fish skins. Cook on low heat for 1.5 hours. Remove from heat, add algae, and allow to infuse at 50°C for 20 minutes.

Remove algae, basil, garlic, and fish skins, then pass the mixture through a food mill and filter.

For the sea powder

  • Dried Ingredients: Alghe (algae), mussels, and langoustine shells.
  • Lentisk Berries: 10 g for a hint of forest aroma.
  • Salt: 20 g to blend with lentisk.

Blend salt with fresh lentisk berries. Grind the dried ingredients and sieve. Season the obtained powder with the lentisk salt to taste.

For the raw ombrina

  • Ombrina (a type of fish): 200 g, thinly sliced.
  • Lemon: Juice of 1 lemon.
  • Olive Oil: Drizzle.
  • Salt: To taste.

Season the umbrina slices with olive noted, lemon juice, and salt.

For finishing

  • 300 g di spaghetti
  • 1 mazzetto di maggiorana

Finish cooking the spaghetti in the tomato sauce. Plate and garnish with sea powder, umbrina slices, and marjoram leaves.


Pascucci al Porticciolo

Via Fiumara, 2- 00054 Fiumicino (Roma)

Phone: +39 06 65029204

Mobile phone: +39 329 4603566

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