The Italians call it “cartoccio,” the French call it “papillotte.” Here in America we call it a “package”. The aromas of freshly steamed seafood along with tomatoes, wine, and soft herbs explode as you tear open the package filled with culinary treasures. The dish works very well for dinner parties as it can be assembled ahead of time, and cooked with little difficulty at the time of service. Timing is essential so as not to overcook the delicate fish.


Servings: Four

Four the Sauce:
1 cup diced white onion
½ cup diced carrots
cup diced celery
½ cup diced fennel
1 tblspn chopped garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups Martini Cabernet
2 tblspn tomato paste
4 cups good quality canned tomatoes
2 medium sized leeks - green parts removed, halved lengthwise and rinsed
Salt and crushed red chili flakes to taste

For the Seafood:
12 manila clams, rinsed thoroughly and drained
12 large mussels, cleaned, rinsed thoroughly and drained
6 ounces cleaned calamari
12 prawns, peeled and deveined
6 ounces white fish fillets, diced into 1 inch cubes
4 tablespoons olive oil
8 tablespoons Martini Napa Cabernet
4 teaspoons chopped parsley
4 teaspoons chopped basil
1 tablespoon fennel pollen (optional)
Parchment Paper
Olive oil


For the Sauce: Drain the tomatoes and reserve the liquid. Break the tomatoes by hand into small walnut size pieces. Sauté the onions, carrots, fennel, and celery in the olive oil over medium high heat with a pinch of salt. Once the vegetables are soft, add the garlic and a pinch of chili flakes (optional). Sauté for 2-3 minutes more, being careful not to brown the garlic. Add the tomato paste and mix thoroughly. Add the red wine and increase heat to high. Continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the tomato pieces and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato liquid, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low. Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes. While the sauce is cooking grip the end of one half of the leek with a pair of metal kitchen tongs. Hold the leek over a burner on high heat and char it deeply. Repeat with the other half of the leek. Chop the leeks roughly and add to the simmering sauce. Once sauce has cooked for 10-15 minutes, remove from the heat and cool it down immediately.

For the Seafood: Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees, or as hot as it will go. Cut four 12x9 inch sections of parchment paper. Place one piece of paper into a medium sized mixing bowl and fill with 3 clams, 3 mussels, 1 ½ ounce calamari, 3 prawns, and 1 ½ ounces fish cubes into the center of the paper. Add 1 tblspn olive oil, 2 tblspn Cabernet, 1 tspn parsley, 1 tspn basil, a small pinch of fennel pollen, and approx. ¾-1 cup of the tomato sauce from previous step. Gather the corners of the paper and twist to seal up the package to resemble a beggar’s purse. Using a 12 inch long piece of kitchen twine, tie a bow around the package. Be sure not to twist the package too tightly as the clams and mussels will need room to open as they cook inside the bag. Repeat this process three more times with the remaining ingredients. Place the four packages on a baking tray and bake in oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on the heat of your oven. In most cases you should be able to see the sauce bubbling and simmering through the transparency of the paper, and will be able to see that the mussels have opened. Serve with crusty bread for dipping in the juices.

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Seafood “en Cartoccio” Recipe Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing -

Pairs well with:
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon