3 Best Oven-Baked Italian Seafood Recipes

Did you know that consuming a single extra serving of fish per week can reduce your risk of heart disease by 50%?

Chef/Author and Brand Ambassador Amy Riolo’s Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook states that “in addition to omega-3s, seafood has essential nutrients such as zinc (immune system support), potassium (heart health), selenium (anti-cancer protection, and iodine (for thyroid function)” along with numerous vitamins that have been shown to help with cognitive function, mood, asthma, as well as skin, nail, and hair health. This month she shared some of her go-to seafood recipes in three different Marra Forni ovens. Quick to make and flavorful to eat, they’re soon to be favorites on your meal rotations.

Recipes adapted from Italian Recipes For Dummies by Amy Riolo.


Roasted Seafood Sauce

Roasted Seafood Sauce image

Very similar to Cacciucco alla Livornese, a Tuscan seafood soup, this roasted sauce is the perfect partner to pasta, rice, or even fish fillets. Chef Amy loves preparing it in our wood-burning Neapolitan oven because it reminds her of cooking with family. You can also elongate it into a traditional seafood soup by using a bit more stock. Be sure to use whatever types of fish or seafood are most fresh. You can omit or add things to this recipe depending on what you’ve got on hand. It tastes divine with mussels alone.


    *    ½ cup  Amy Riolo Selections, or other good-quality extra virgin olive oil
    *    1/4 teaspoon saffron stamens
    *    4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    *    2 teaspoons fresh thyme
    *    2 teaspoons fresh oregano
    *    14 ounces fresh or canned reduced-sodium tomatoes, crushed in your hands
    *    2 teaspoons tomato paste
    *    2 cups Homemade Seafood Stock  or water
    *    1⁄4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
    *    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    *    1 pound fresh mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
    *    1 pound shrimp, peeled, and deveined
    *    1 pound firm flesh white fish such as cod or halibut, chopped into 1-inch pieces
    *    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (for garnish)

1. Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof pot or deep cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the saffron, garlic, thyme, and oregano, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil over high heat.
3. Stir, add the mussels, shrimp, and fish, remove from heat, and transfer to a wood-burning oven fired to 625-650 F degrees and cook for 3 minutes, or just until mussels open, and fish is cooked through. Remove from heat and discard any unopened mussels.
4. Pour into individual cups or bowls. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, and serve.

When choosing mussels, look for ones that are closed (this means they are alive and fresh) and completely smooth (not broken). It is best to purchase mussels from sources that sell them individually, so you can be guaranteed of their freshness. Those sold in bags often seem fresh in the store, but when you take them home, you may realize that some are actually open (meaning they are dead) and need to be discarded.
To scrub mussels, wash them with a clean brush, and rinse them with cold water until the water runs clear and no sand or debris remains. You may need to do this multiple times.
Pair this dish with a bottle of Ortrugo dei Colli Piacentini or similar. A white wine with a slender body and soft and delicate floral aromas that are appreciated for its fresh and balanced taste on the bitter finish.

While the addition of saffron to an Italian recipe might surprise some, many Italian regions, such as Abruzzo, Basilicata, and Calabria, produce award-winning saffron now, and it is becoming increasingly popular in recipes.

Sizzling Scallops with White Balsamic Glaze Over Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad image

Chef Amy used Marra Forni's Rotator Brick Oven to quickly sear the scallops in this recipe. If you can’t find top-quality scallops, substitute shrimp or chunks of tuna in this recipe. It’s important to ensure that the scallops are free of TSP so that they sear on both sides.  To serve this dish as an entrée instead of a salad, sauté the shrimp in olive oil prior to plating.


    *    4 tablespoons Amy Riolo Selections or other good-quality extra virgin olive oil, divided
    *    1 medium yellow onion, diced
    *    2 pounds dry sea scallops, about 20-30
    *    1⁄2 cup Amy Riolo Selections White Balsamic Dressing, or your favorite balsamic vinegar
    *    1  teaspoon unrefined sea salt
    *    ½ teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
    *    1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
    *    2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
    *    1 pound fresh baby spinach

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on flat cast-iron dishes and heat them in a rotator heated to approximately 700F degrees. Allow the dish to heat up, having It pass through a few rotations. Carefully remove the dish from the ledge. 
2. Immediately add the scallops, and turn to sear on each side.  Place back in the oven and allow it 2 turns in the rotator at 30-second intervals, or until scallops are opaque and cooked through.
3. Season with salt and pepper, and pour Balsamic Dressing over the scallops. Increase heat to high until two-thirds of the liquid is evaporated.
4. Remove from heat, gently stir in parsley and basil, and cover scallops to keep them warm.
5. Place the spinach on a plate, season with salt and pepper, and top with hot scallops.

Regardless of scallops’ symbolism, Italians love to cook them because they are both decadent and easy to prepare. When shopping, always choose “dry” scallops, which are free of chemical additives.
This dish pairs perfectly when served after Bucatini with Fresh Tuna and Fennel as a first course. Spaghetti al limone and Linguine alle vongole are other great options.
Pair this dish with a bottle of Pinot Grigio Alto Adige or similar. A Burgundy vine from north-eastern Italy, this wine has a decidedly fruity olfactory profile and a fresh, savory sip with mineral notes.

The Italian name for scallops, capesante, is a derivative of the French term for scallops — coquille Saint Jacques. The scallop shell is a symbol of the pilgrims who visited the famous cathedral of Saint James in Spain and a symbol of Pope Benedict XVI. The scallop shell was also used in the infamous Botticelli painting of Venus.

Spiedini Di Pesce | Grilled Fish Skewers

Grilled Fish Skewers image

Chef Amy prefers our Electric stackable oven for this recipe. Normally skewers need to be turned constantly in order to achieve the right texture. Thanks to our thermal cooking range that allows for varying temperature options on both top and bottom, this succulent spiedini cooked in just 3 minutes, without needing to turn them once.


    *    16  sturdy sprigs of rosemary (see Note) or wooden or metal skewers
    *    2 1/2 pounds of skinless firm fish, such as swordfish, tuna, or mahi mahi, cut into 1 1/2-inch cube
    *    48 grape tomatoes
    *    4 tablespoons Amy Riolo Selections Olive Oil or other good-quality extra virgin olive oil
    *    2 cloves garlic, peeled
    *    Juice of 2 lemons
    *    1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
    *    1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
    *    Crushed red chili flakes, to taste

1.    Heat the electric stackable oven chamber to 600F on the top and 550F on the bottom. If your rosemary stems are sturdy enough to use to skewer the fish, peel leaves from the rosemary branches (reserve for another use) and thread fish onto them like skewers, alternating with tomatoes, being careful to divide the fish and tomato pieces evenly among the sixteen rosemary skewers. Otherwise, soak wooden skewers in water to prevent burning, or use metal skewers instead.
2.    Place 1 teaspoon of the reserved rosemary leaves, oil, garlic, and lemon in a blender, and purée until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red chili flakes.
3.    Brush kabobs with half of the oil mixture.  Place in the oven and cook until fish is opaque, 2-3 minutes, without turning.
4.    With a clean brush, coat cooked kabobs with a reserved oil mixture. Serve immediately.

Rosemary gives the fish additional flavor and nutritional benefits because it is great for increasing memory and concentration, but if sprigs are hard to come by, you can use metal or wooden skewers instead. Be sure to soak wooden skewers in water for an hour prior to grilling so they don’t burn.
Pair this dish with a bottle of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi or similar. A white wine with a greenish hue, it offers a harmonious taste and aroma in which floral and herbaceous notes emerge on a pleasantly bitter finish.

For additional flavor, marinate the fish in the oil, garlic, and lemon mixture for 20 minutes prior to grilling. This recipe is a great appetizer or main course. It pairs well with Seafood Soup, Seafood Risotto, or Spaghetti al Limone/Lemon-Infused Spaghetti for first courses. VARY IT! You can use chicken or beef in this recipe in place of fish, being sure to cook them to the appropriate doneness (temperature) for each recipe.

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