Homemade pasta squares with fish stew

In this rustic Italian dish, squid, scampi and barramundi shine in a sea of tomato and red wine sauce. The addition of homemade pasta takes the seafood stew from scrumptious to seriously satisfying.



  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1small brown onion, chopped
  • 1clove garlic, chopped
  • ½green capsicum (pepper), cut into small cubes
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 600 ml tomato passata
  • 2 cups(500 ml) water
  • salt flakes
  • 2 x 700gbarramundi
  • 2squid tubes, cleaned and cut into small strips
  • 8large scampi
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley and chilli oil (optional), to serve
  • Pasta dough
    • 2 cups(300 g) type ‘00’ flour
    • pinch of salt flakes
    • 200–225 ml water, plus extra if needed
    • olive oil, for greasing your hands
    • semolina or polenta flour, for dusting


  • Chilling time 30 minutes
  1. To make the pasta, put the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre, then slowly pour in the water, mixing as you go with a chopstick or your finger. Don’t add all the water at once as you may not need it all. I would suggest you start with 200 ml and add the rest if needed. As a rule of thumb, a dry dough is easier to correct than a tacky one.
  2. Mix until the dough resembles wet crumbs, then tip it onto a floured surface, oil your hands and knead it for 3–4 minutes or until it comes together in a smooth ball.
  3. Cover it in plastic film and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. You can make the dough a day ahead if you like.
  4. Using a rolling pin or a pasta machine, roll out the dough to a thickness of 3 mm, then cut it into 2 cm squares. Dust them with flour so they won’t stick together and lay onto a large platter or board dusted with semolina or polenta flour. Set aside.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over low–medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for 3–4 minutes. Add the capsicum and wine, then increase the heat to high and cook for 2–3 minutes or until the alcohol has evaporated. Add the passata, water and a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, add the barramundi and cook for 15–20 minutes or until cooked through. Lift out the fish, then extract the flesh and set aside. Meanwhile, drop the squid and scampi into the pan and cook for 2– 3 minutes. Lift them out and set aside with the barramundi flesh.
  7. Turn up the heat under the tomato sauce, adding 1 cup (250 ml) water if it has reduced too much (you are going to cook the pasta in the liquid so there needs to be enough to cover it). When the sauce comes to the boil, drop in the pasta squares and cook for 1–2 minutes or until al dente. Add the seafood and mix through, then serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and, if you like a bit of spice, a drizzle of chilli oil.


  • Miriam loves to use whole monkfish, but as it is not easily available in Australia I have replaced it with barramundi, which has the advantage of being virtually boneless.


Cook’s notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.