The most ingenious food mash-ups make you wonder why you hadn’t already thought of that. Enter pasta sushi, which combines sushi fillings in a pasta shell for an Italian bent on the ubiquitous Japanese classic.
Created by Michelin-starred Italian chefs Moreno Cedroni and Davide Scabin, pasta sushi was recently introduced to the United States by “Pasta Modern” author Francine Segan, who set out to uncover the latest in food creativity in Italy.
“Raw fish is very much part of Italian culture, too, so it was the logical next step. It’s been at least five years that they’ve been doing it in Italy,” Segan told ABC News. “You think of Italy as this grandma with a big pot of sauce, and I wanted to break out of that. This is one of those really cutting edge examples of what’s happening right now in Italy which is so totally Italian, but not that kind of grandma same old same old.”
To make the dish, all you do is boil pasta shells until al dente and season with some sort of acid.
“Toss it with a little something that will season it just like you’d season sushi rice,” Segan explained. “You could go totally Japanese flavor with rice vinegar or you could do a little more Italian with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. You just want a little acidity with that starch.”
Next you fill with the fish of your choice, whether it’s going classic Japanese with tuna, scallions and avocado or Italian with salmon and mascarpone or burrata and smoked oysters. Then again, you could take it in the direction of any cuisine, like American with cream cheese and lox or Greek with grilled octopus and olives.
“You can do anything, and it’s much easier to deal with because it’s just in that pasta shell,” Segan said. “It’s such fun to play with because you don’t have to worry about rice or seaweed.”