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Venetian Style Spaghetti (Spaghetti alla veneziana)

A recipe for Venetian Spaghetti, with fish in a rich rosée sauce with béchamel and tomato; having been connected to the sea throughout its history, I see this recipe as fitting well with beautiful and romantic Venice where it came from. You will not find that many pasta recipes from Venice, as the Venetian cuisine focuses more on its rices and porridges, with their famous Risottos and Polentas...

That being said, spaghetti is also served traditionally in Venice, generally with fish and seafood; so here is a typical venetian pasta recipe for you to try…

| Yield: 4 servings | Preparation: | Cooking and Baking: | Total time: | | by:


* 1 lb. Spaghetti pasta
* 1 and 1/2 sliced white fish, fishbones carefully removed
* 1 onion
* 1/2 lb. butter
* 1 cup dry white wine
* 1/2 cup half-half cream (15% fat)
* 5 tablespoons tomato paste
* 3/4 cup pine nuts, washed and roasted
* 5 tablespoons white flour
* grated Parmesan cheese
* butter for grating
* breadcrumbs
* salt

Cooking instructions:

1) Gently cook the fish in boiling water for two minutes, then drain in a strainer.

2) Fry the drained fish with the chopped onion and about two thirds of the butter: Gradually pour the white wine in, little by little, then mix in the five tablespoons tomato paste. Finally, mix in the roasted pine nuts.

3) Separately we prepare a bechamel sauce with five tablespoons butter, 5 tablespoons flour and 1/2 cup half-half cream, then add three tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese. In a pot, bring to a boil plenty of salted water, then cook the spaghetti until al dente; strain. Grease the edges and bottom of an oven going pan.

4) Pour the fish sauce we did in step 1 in the pan, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs over, in the fish sauce place make a layer of noodles, toss, cover them with a few tablespoons of béchamel, some breadcrumbs then more noodles; continue, repeating this operation until you used all the pasta and bechamel, the only thing is that you have to finish with a final layer of bechamel on top. Sprinkle more breadcrumbs over the top, place a few knobs of butter over the top. Preheat the oven to 400 ˚F.

5) Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake until the top surface is well browned, or about 15 minutes.

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