Spaghetti ‘Mare e Monti’ Recipe from Le Marche

Spaghetti ‘Mare e Monti’ Recipe from Le Marche.

Spaghetti mare e monti is a classic ‘surf and turf’ pasta recipe from the Marche region in central Italy. Le Marche is a beautiful unspoiled fairly mountainous and hilly region with a long coastline on the Adriatic sea. The food in this region is very influenced by both the land and the sea. So, the combination of different mushrooms and calamari (squid) in this delicious pasta dish is very representative of the local cuisine. 

spaghetti mare e monti recipe from Le Marche

Pasta mare e monti is actually very popular throughout Italy. There are even similar risotto recipes and surf and turf pizzas! In some mare e monti pasta recipes, the seafood is prawns or shrimps, instead of calamari. In others, it’s different kinds of fish or shellfish. But, the majority of Italian surf and turf pasta recipes include mushrooms, particularly porcini.

spaghetti mare e monti recipe from Le Marche

What mushrooms can you use?

This recipe calls for mixed mushrooms. So, you can use any combination that you like. I used a mix of foraged and farmed mushrooms. Porcini give a lot of umami flavour to any dish and I was lucky enough to find fresh porcini! However, you could also use frozen or dried. Dried porcini will need to be soaked for about 20-30 minutes in warm water before cooking them.

ingredients for spaghetti mare e monti

Apart from the porcini, I included white champignon button mushrooms, a type of oyster mushroom we call cardoncelli, finferli (chanterelles)  and pioppini (black poplar mushrooms) . The mushrooms are all cooked together, so it’s important to cut them to more or less the same size.

spaghetti pasta mancini

Calamari, fresh or frozen?

My hubby went shopping for the calamari for this spaghetti mare e monti. I was thrilled that he managed to find fresh baby calamari. I think, these are my favourites if I’m not stuffing them. Obviously, bigger ones are better for that! As you can imagine baby calamari are more tender than the big adult ones! However, the secret to cooking calamari is timing, no matter the size!

mushrooms, calamari, tomatoes and parsley cleaned and chopped

There are 2 ways of cooking calamari (and cuttlefish), fast or slow! This is because these sea creatures have a lot of connective tissue. When cooked fast these tissues don’t have time to harden so the calamari stays soft and tender. When slow cooked, the connective tissues break down and the calamari becomes tender. This spaghetti mare e monti is a fairly quick recipe to put together. So, you will need to cook the calamari for just a short time!

mushrooms, calamari and garlic cooking in skillet

Of course, fresh calamari need cleaning. Luckily my hubby does it for me! But, if you don’t want to clean them or can’t find fresh squid, frozen works well too. In fact, like cuttlefish and octopus, calamari are actually often more tender after being frozen.

mushrooms, calamari and tomatoes cooking in skillet

The pasta.

Spaghetti mare e monti is obviously made with spaghetti! However, other pasta shapes are delicious with it too! I chose to make this recipe with spaghetti made by one of Italy’s best pasta brands, Pasta Mancini. This unique pasta producer is in Le Marche, the region this recipe comes from. So, a perfect pairing!

sauce for spaghetti mare e monti cooking in skillet

I call Pasta Mancini unique because, unlike most other pasta makers, this company grows its own wheat and its pastificio (pasta factory) is located in the middle of its wheat fields! But, not only do they grow their own wheat but they do so following farming principles known as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). In short, this means that they implement sustainable, environmentally friendly farming.

spaghetti mare e monti recipe from Le Marche

I recently visited Pasta Mancini and was given a very informative tour of their pastificio. I learnt so much about wheat growing and pasta making during my visit. You can read about my visit in my post Pasta Mancini; Pasta from Field to Fork. Or, if you’d like to learn even more about this company, check out their website. It’s in English too and they export to US and UK ( )

spaghetti mare e monti

Making spaghetti mare e monti.

As I mentioned above this recipe doesn’t take so long to put together. The most time consuming part is the prep. The mushrooms need to be cleaned and chopped. Plus, the calamari, if fresh, needs cleaning and then cutting into small pieces too.

spaghetti mare e monti

The rest of the ingredients are few, just some cherry or datterini tomatoes, parsley, garlic, peperoncino (red chili pepper) and wine.  However, having just a few ingredients doesn’t mean this surf and turf pasta dish is lacking in taste. In fact, it’s very flavourful! I’m sure that if you make it, you’ll love this dish as much as the Italians do!

spaghetti mare e monti recipe from Le Marche

If you do try this spaghetti mare e monti recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your feedback means a lot to me!

Buon Appetito!

Disclaimer: Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions expressed are my own.

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spaghetti mare e monti recipe from Le Marche
5 from 29 votes
spaghetti mare e monti
Spaghetti Mare e Monti Recipe from Le Marche
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins

A surf and turf pasta recipe from the Marche region in Central Italy which is a delicious combination of mushrooms and calamari. This authentic Italian pasta recipe is pretty easy to make and incredibly flavourful!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Le Marche
Keyword: calamari, le marche, mushrooms, spaghetti, surf and turf
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
  • 400 g spaghetti (14oz) I used spaghetti from Pasta Mancini
  • 400 g calamari (14oz) fresh or frozen
  • 400 g mixed mushrooms (14oz) I used porcini (cep) finferli (chanterelles) cardoncelli and white champignon.
  • 400 g cherry tomatoes (14oz) or datterini
  • 1 clove garlic peeled
  • 1/2 glass white wine
  • 1 handful fresh parsley chopped
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • 1 tsp peperoncino flakes (red chili pepper) (optional)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  1. Gut and wash the squid, chop the body and tentacles into smallish pieces. Clean and chop the mushrooms, keeping the pieces more or less to the same size. Wash and cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters. Wash and chop the parsley.

  2. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Once it starts boiling, add salt and bring to the boil again.

  3. Fry the mushrooms and calamari together in olive oil with the garlic.

  4. Once the mushrooms have softened, pour in the wine and when the alcohol has evaporated add the tomatoes. Add salt to taste. Lower the heat and simmer until the tomatoes have softened too. Remove the garlic clove when the sauce is ready.

  5. While the sauce is simmering, cook the spaghetti a bit less than al dente according to
    the instructions on the packet. When the spaghetti is ready, save a small cup of the cooking water and drain.

  6. Add the saved pasta cooking water to the sauce and then add the drained spaghetti, some parsley and the peperoncino (if using). Mix and stir everything together until the spaghetti is ready to eat.

  7. Serve immediately sprinkled with more parsley.

Recipe Notes

This recipe calls for mixed mushrooms. So, you can use any combination that you like. I used a mix of foraged and farmed mushrooms. Porcini give a lot of umami flavour to any dish and I was lucky enough to find fresh porcini! However, you could also use frozen or dried. Dried porcini will need to be soaked for about 20-30 minutes in warm water before cooking them.

More Italian seafood pasta recipes….

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  • Avatar
    October 17, 2019 9:21 pm

    Using different types of mushrooms and seafood makes this dish extraordinary. The pasta looks perfect choice to enjoy the weekend dinner.

  • Avatar
    October 1, 2019 12:23 pm

    My daughter loves sea food and this looks ticking all the right boxes for her. I am sure making this, looks yum.

  • Avatar
    September 30, 2019 1:47 am

    The way you decribe the area makes want to travel there as soon as possible! Anyway, back to the recipe. It’s not often that I see a recipe that combines different types of mushrooms. But when I do, I get very excited because I love such mix and I have been experimenting with it a lot lately. Great tip on porcini!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      September 30, 2019 6:43 pm

      Thank you, Mirlene! Le Marche really is beautiful. I hope you get to visit! I love using different types of mushrooms too, they are so good in this dish!

  • Avatar
    September 29, 2019 10:17 pm

    I had never tried this before but now I am a huge fan, the mushrooms and calamari make the perfect pairing!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      September 30, 2019 6:44 pm

      Thank you, Donna! Glad you love it!

  • Avatar
    Anne Lawton
    September 29, 2019 9:10 pm

    I just love light pasta dishes like this, and all of the fresh ingredients in there. Thanks for sharing

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      September 30, 2019 6:48 pm

      Thank you, Anne!

  • Avatar
    Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef
    September 29, 2019 3:49 pm

    Such a beautiful pasta dish (as always) I love the fact that you can use a variety of seasonal mushrooms! I’m sure the flavor just pops, added to our list of must-try recipes, thank you! 🙂

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      September 30, 2019 6:52 pm

      Thank you, Angela! You are right -it is so great to use seasonal produce. Hope you try it and love it!

  • Avatar
    September 29, 2019 1:37 pm

    Love the twist and the ingredients used. Pasta looks so deliciois

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      September 30, 2019 6:54 pm

      Thank you, Kushigalu!

  • Avatar
    September 29, 2019 8:29 am

    I learned so much from this post! Now I know the best way to approach calamari, which I’ve never been bold enough to cook with! Honestly I’ve never paired mushrooms with seafood either but you’ve convinced me to give a try!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      September 30, 2019 7:01 pm

      I am so glad to be of help Mikayla! Let me know how it goes, I am sure the results will be fantastic!

  • Avatar
    September 29, 2019 2:16 am

    Spaghetti is absolutely my favorite and this twist is amazing. Love all the ingredients.

  • Avatar
    September 28, 2019 2:36 pm

    This sounds really good! I love calamari but not when it’s chewy. We have these cute long mushrooms here in Japan that I think would be perfect to put in this. Is it better to have more than one kind of mushroom or does that matter?

    • Jacqui
      September 28, 2019 5:46 pm

      Hi Felicia, I’m sure you’d really like this dish and those Japanese mushrooms sound interesting! I think you can make this recipe with one type of mushroom or a mix. It would be delicious either way. Do let me know how it turns out if you make it!

  • Avatar
    September 27, 2019 4:55 pm

    This dish looks so good. I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms, but I’d still try this.

  • Avatar
    Stine Mari
    September 27, 2019 3:23 pm

    I saw the photo of all those mixed mushrooms and I definitely fell in love with this recipe. Chanterelles are my favorite, but I love mixing it up as well. Yum!

  • Avatar
    Amy | The Cook Report
    September 27, 2019 12:31 pm

    This sounds delicious, I love the combination of the squid and mushrooms!

  • Avatar
    September 27, 2019 12:24 pm

    Oh wow this looks absolutely delicious!!! I cannot wait to make this recipe this weekend! I love calamari and mushrooms prepare in any way and here you have added ingredients that go so well together! Cannot wait! Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

  • Avatar
    September 27, 2019 11:28 am

    I am a huge mushroom fan, pasta and mushrooms together yes please. Love the use of the seafood in here for that extra taste and flavour. Great looking dish!

  • Avatar
    September 27, 2019 11:28 am

    What a simple and delicious spaghetti dish. My husband loves seafood spaghetti.

  • Avatar
    Jo Allison
    September 27, 2019 10:41 am

    I absolutely adore seafood type pastas. They are easy to make and really show off good quality produce. The combination of calamari and mushrooms sounds delicious with all the meaty mushroom richness against the seafood. Beautiful dish!

  • Avatar
    Mama Maggie’s Kitchen
    September 27, 2019 10:25 am

    Yum! This Spaghetti recipe is making me super hungry! Can you hear my tummy growl?? I am sure calamari would be perfect for this!

  • Avatar
    September 27, 2019 1:44 am

    This is delicious! I am unfortunately the only one in my family who likes mushrooms, but sometimes I just have to cook with them anyways and everyone can deal!

  • Avatar
    September 27, 2019 1:18 am

    these are all my favourite ingredients rolled into one! I love calamari especially in pasta! Gorgeous summer recipe!

  • Avatar
    September 26, 2019 7:16 pm

    I love calamari and mushrooms, but I’ve never had them together in a dish. I can’t wait to try this spaghetti mare e monti. These tasty ingredients will be the perfect flavor combination. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • Avatar
    Jessica Formicola
    September 26, 2019 3:54 pm

    This pasta looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try it for dinner tonight!

  • Avatar
    Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen
    September 26, 2019 2:51 pm

    Oooh I love squid, this looks like a great pasta dish full of flavor. Will try this week!

  • Avatar
    September 26, 2019 2:25 pm

    I am always on the look-out for beautiful wild mushrooms on the local market as they have such an intense taste compared to cremini. This is definitely a recipe I should try next. Thanks for sharing.

  • Avatar
    Pam Greer
    September 26, 2019 2:12 pm

    This is so good! Calamari is something I definitely don’t cook with enough! What a great pasta dinner!

  • Avatar
    September 26, 2019 1:57 pm

    This is a wonderful recipe. I love spaghetti mari e monti, it always reminds me of my childhood!

  • Avatar
    Danielle Wolter
    September 26, 2019 12:48 pm

    This dish sounds absolutely incredible! Loving all the different mushrooms, I can’t wait to try it!

  • Avatar
    September 26, 2019 10:36 am

    This pasta dish looks wonderful! And it combines all of my favourites, mushrooms, seafood, and tomatoes! A nice, big bowl of this pasta with a glass of wine and I’m a happy girl!

  • Avatar
    September 26, 2019 2:01 am

    What a light and fresh pasta dish. Love all the photos too!

  • Avatar
    Kelly Anthony
    September 25, 2019 7:53 pm

    I absolutely love seafood in my pasta and would love to have a bowl of this spaghetti mare e monti right now. I’m going to make this for my husband this weekend for our date night in!

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