A couple of weeks ago, I had some friends over and I made a seafood pasta dish. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but apparently it was a rather interesting fusion of Italian and Asian cooking and ingredients. I just always thought it was my version of the Italian seafood pasta dish, but tossing in the idea of a one bowl meal, I tend to throw some veggies into mix.
Anyway this is the general recipe it makes about 10 – 12 servings.
1 small head of garlic minced fine
red pepper flakes to taste
a bunch of fresh Thai basil
white wine (I used pino grigio)
2 lbs cod filet (or other mild tasting fish) cut into 1″ – 2″ chunks
1 lb clams
1 lb mussels
1 lb scallops
1 lb shrimp
2 lbs of snow pea shoots (or other tender leafy greens) broken into bit sized pieces
2 tomatoes diced
Flour or cornstarch (can be seasoned)
One box of pasta: I usually use fusilli, gemelli, or bowties, pasta that takes a while to get soggy
1. Boil water for pasta.
2. Coat all the “soft” seafood with flour or cornstarch. I usually just add cornstarch to a ziplock baggie and shake until coated, for speed.
3. Add pasta to the boiling water, let cook until about 5 minutes before al dente. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.
4. Heat up a pan and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Add some garlic. Once the garlic is sizzling sear the “soft” seafood on both sides. It is VERY important that they are only SEARED and not cooked all the way through. Remove the seared seafood and set aside. Keep repeating until all the seafood is seared.
5. Heat up more olive oil, garlic and some red pepper flakes. Add the clams to the empty pan. Toss in the basil leaves and some lemon juice. Add enough wine to steam the clams. Stir. Cover the pot and let cook for about 5 minutes depending on the size of the clams
6. While you are waiting for the clams to cook. Saute the greens with a little garlic and olive oil. Place in the bottom of the serving dish.
7. Toss in the mussels and stir. Check the level of the liquid. Add more wine if needed. Cook for another 3 minutes.
8. Add the pan seared seafood except the fish. Stir. Add the pasta stir. Finally add the fish and carefully fold it in so it doesn’t disintegrate. If you don’t want to risk it you can just leave the fish sitting on top. Cover the pot and let cook for about another 5 to 10 minutes.
9. Pour the seafood pasta on top of the greens. Mix gently. Top with the chopped tomatoes.
Just FYI, the reason the seafood is cooked as a multi-step process is because the different kinds of seafood cooks at different speeds and in order for everything to be done at the same time you need to vary the cooking times. Also, the most important thing for a yummy seafood dish is that the seafood is fresh and not overcooked! There is nothing more disgusting than scallops with the texture of erasers. My suggestion if you are unfamilar with cooking seafood is not to use all these ingredients at the same time at first. You can make this dish with only one type of seafood. Once you get used to how the various types of fish cook you can better balance how to mix them together.
I prefer Thai basil to Italian basil because it has a stronger peppery flavor. However, they do need heat to release it’s flavor unlike the Italian basil.
If you do not have time to cook the greens, you can always pour the seafood on top of the greens and just let them wilt. I like adding fresh tomatoes to this dish, because I like the freshness it adds to the dish.
Anyway, this is my version of seafood pasta in a white wine sauce.