Pasta dishes are a favorite of fancy restaurants because they’re cheap, quick to make, and they somehow get away with overcharging for them. I say: why not just make it at home? It’s pretty easy if you have a solid recipe and doing it at home gives you complete control over what’s in it. Take this dish.
Seafood Pasta is a classic that is crazy expensive in restaurants, so why pay for it? With a few clever tricks and thirty minutes you can put something on the table that’s delicious and a great dish to impress a date with because it looks, smells and tastes fancy.
Here’s How You Do It
Difficulty Level: Medium
Cook time: 20-30 Minutes
Serves 2 to 4 Depending on appetites
1 Bag of Frozen Shrimp (peeled and de-veined) and Scallops containing about 40 total - Thawed – Frozen is cheaper and tastes great if done right – I’ll show you how, don’t worry
1 Bag or Box of your favorite Pasta – I used penne for this recipe, but linguine works great too
1 ¾ Cups Full Fat Milk
¼ Cup + 1 Teaspoon of Dry White Wine, divided – Whatever’s cheap
1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon of Butter, divided
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon of Canola Oil or any other oil that can withstand high heat
3 Cloves of Garlic, finely minced
1 ½ Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
Salt and Pepper – to taste
A pinch of chili flakes – Optional
A pinch of Smoked Paprika - Optional
1 Tablespoon of Chopped, Fresh Herbs – I used Basil and Parsley, but Dill would work great too
Measuring Cups and Spoons
1 Knife and Cutting Board
1 Frying Pan
2 Small Bowls
1 Large Bowl
1 Pot and Strainer – To boil your pasta
1 Pair of Tongs
1 Wooden spoon
Fill a pot with water and put it on high heat to start your pasta. Once the water is boiling, season generously with salt and add your pasta of choice, stirring with tongs to separate them. Once at the desired doneness, drain in a strainer WITHOUT rinsing and set aside. I just leave it in the strainer in the sink until I’m ready to use it.
Separate your shrimps and scallops into 2 small bowls and season liberally with salt, pepper, and chili if you like em. A common mistake with seafood is thinking they call be cooked the same way. Doing it that way results in overcooked, rubbery shrimp and scallops. Cooking them separately ensures perfect doneness.
Heat your frying pan on high heat and add a teaspoon of Canola oil. Add the scallops and cook them on high for a no more than a minute or until brown and caramelized on one side. Dump them in the big bowl. They’ll cook the rest of the way when added to the cream sauce.
Turn off the heat and in the same frying pan add 1 Teaspoon of Butter. Turn the heat to medium high and add the shrimp, garlic, and a teaspoon of White Wine. The SECOND the shrimp are pink, dump them in the same bowl with the scallops.
In the same frying pan you cooked the seafood in, melt a Tablespoon of butter and Olive Oil together on medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the top and whisk to combine. Cook until it turns light brown.
Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly until smooth. Add the rest of the white wine and the remaining minced garlic, smoked paprika if using, and keep whisking. Simmer until the sauce has thickened. Taste and season for salt and pepper.
Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the seafood and any juices from the bowl they were kept in. Add the pasta and cook for a minute so everything has a chance to merge. Add the fresh herbs and toss with your tongs.
Serve and Enjoy!
-Samantha R. Gold
Questions? Comments? Requests?
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