Seafood Macaronade from Sète (Languedoc)

The “macaronade” is a traditional dish from Sète made from macaroni and meat. A local restaurant, la guinguette chez Fady, created a seafood version which is by far my favourite mediterranean dish. It gathers all the main food specialties from Sète: stuffed squid and mussels and cuttlefish in rouille sauce (aïoli & saffron based sauce). I did lots of research and tried many different things to find that recipe that comes the closest to the seafood macaronade made at la Guinguette chez Fady. I am very proud of the result… It is absolutely delicious but plan ahead as this recipe requires a lot of time.

Serves 6 – 3 hours.


Ingredients (All at room temperature!!! IMPORTANT)


Cut the garlic into small pieces (or use a garlic press). Add mustard, saffron and the egg yolk. Using a whisk or your blender, add olive oil little by little. When your aïoli is finished, your whish should hold on its own in it! Season to taste.

Seiche in rouille sauce


  • 3 large pieces of cuttlefish (roughly 1 kg)
  • 2 litres fish broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon ground chilly
  • 1 small can of tomato coulis (200g)
  • 1/2 glass of Muscat de Frontignan
  • 1 pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 branch of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt & Pepper


Cut the cuttlefish into large cubes (they will “shrink” while cooking). Cook them for one hour in the fish broth. Drain and put in a pan with the tomato concentrate and a pinch of sugar. Add the other ingredients and cook for 30 minutes. Let cool down a bit then add the aïoli. Mix well. The colour must change all of a sudden, turning from red to orange/yellowish. Leave on the side.

Stuffed Squid & Mussels


  • 6 large squids
  • 6 large mussels
  • 500g minced meat
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 handful of bread (white part)
  • 1/2 glass of milk
  • 1 eggyolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon tomato concentrate
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1 pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 branch of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 glass of Muscat de Frontignan
  • Salt and Pepper


Wash the mussels and cook them quickly in a saucepan, shaking a lot, to open them. Leave on the side. Soak the bread in the milk then drain. Add the egg yolk to the bread, then the minced meat. Add the chopped parsley and garlic. Season to taste and blend well. Stuff the squids (previously washed and guts removed by your favorite fishmongers…) and mussels with the meat mixture. Shut the squids with some small cocktail sticks. Shut the mussels with some kitchen string. Put the squids in a saucepan with a bit of olive oil. Let them golden for a few minutes. Add a diced garlic clove, the tomato concentrate and a pinch of sugar (to reduce the tomato acidity). Add the muscat, pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Cover with water and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the mussels and simmer for another 30 minutes. Take the squids and mussels out of the broth and leave on the side.

Finalizing and serving (at last!)


  • 400g penne rigate pasta


Cook the pasta “al dente”. Drain, keeping one tablespoon of cooking water. Add this cooking water to the cuttlefish in rouille sauce. Add pasta. Mix well until all the pasta have taken the “rouille” colour. Put the stuffed squid and mussels on top. Serve immediately. You can add some grilled king prawns if you like.


This dish is very generous dish. If you cannot finish it, you can keep your macaronade in the freezer and reheat it in the oven, with some kitchen foil on top to keep it from drying. Regarding organisation/planning, I recommend you start the day before, as follows: Squid and cuttlefish are more tender if they have been frozen. Therefore the day before I buy all my ingredients for the macaronade (at the “Halles de Sète”, a favourite of mine!). When I come back, I immediately store my cuttlefish in the freezer. Istuff my squids and put them in the freezer too. The day after, I do all my other parts of the recipe and I cook my stuffed squids and cuttlefish still frozen (this is not a problem). I cook my pasta just before serving. Et voilà ! Bon appétit !

Whit which wine?

Garlic, saffron, olive oil, thyme, etc. So many powerful ingredients in this recipe. I recommend choosing a white wine, of course, made from very aromatic grapes, such as the ones we find in the South of France. To me a Picpoul de Pinet, the local wine made near Sète, is too light for the macaronade. I recommend going for a wine with a good weight in mouth to be able to stand the aïoli sauce, such as a white Châteauneuf du Pape, or a white Lirac for a more affordable option.

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  1. // Reply

    Merci pour cette recette qui me rappelle celle de chez FADY à Mèze ou j’ai vécu 4 ans.
    Je vais la réaliser pour les 10 ans de ma fille.

    1. // Reply

      Merci Aliénor pour votre adorable message ! Un très joyeux anniversaire à votre fille et vive notre belle région qui recèle tant de merveilles gastronomiques 🙂

  2. // Reply

    Ouii merci pour cette recette, la macaronade était succulentes, heureuse de l’avoir réussi, à refaire !

  3. // Reply

    super très bonne recette merci

    1. // Reply

      Merci ! Pas mal de boulot, n’est ce pas ? Bonne fin d’été à vous !

  4. // Reply

    La merveilleuse macaronnade de Fady ! Je descend de Lyon un we par an juste pour aller la deguster et je repars évidement avec mon doggy bag 🙂
    Merci d’avoir décortiqué la recette pour nous

    1. // Reply

      Chère Natacha, merci pour votre message ! Reste plus qu’à vous lancer pour la faire à la maison… Attention il y a du boulot !

  5. // Reply

    Bonjour Marion et merci pour la recette! En revanche, j’ai un souci avec l’aïoli, comment et où La met on? On La mélange aux pâtes en fin de préparation? On s’en sert pour saucer les elements??

  6. // Reply

    J’avais mal lu: vous la mettez dans la rouille…

    1. // Reply

      Bonjour Hervé. Désolée je n’ai votre message que tardivement… Alors elle était bonne cette macaronade ? 😉

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