Every once in a while (okay, more like a lot), I get a craving for pasta. I do try to cut back on some carbs, but must admit I never did warm up to 1000-grain everything and prefer regular pasta to whole grain. There have been some half-and-half types that weren’t too bad, texture-wise anyway.
I guess I am too old to change some of my food preferences and I treasure old family recipes that I grew up with. If you share my fascination for pasta with seafood, I am hoping there will be something here today that you would like to try. Better yet if it becomes one of your favorites.
Linguine with clams and lemon
I like to add some chopped canned clams to this.
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed (or more, to taste)
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
2 pounds little neck clams, scrubbed
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup clam broth
1 pound linguine pasta
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Make sure the clams are well scrubbed and that any with open shells are discarded. (Tap the shell to see if it closes.)
2. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir about 30 seconds. Add clams, clam broth and white wine and cook until the wine has reduced and the clams have opened, about 6 minutes. Discard any clams that did not open. You may add a little butter to this mixture if you wish. (While clams are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl, then add the clams and liquid.
3. Lightly sprinkle the lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt and ground black pepper over the pasta mixture, toss a bit to mix. Before serving, sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top. Very good with crusty French or Italian bread.
Shrimp and scallop pasta
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup soy sauce (reduced sodium works well)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces uncooked vermicelli
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 pound sea scallops
1/2 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 medium sweet red bell pepper, julienned
1 medium sweet yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 cup fresh or frozen sugar snap peas (or snow peas)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1. In a small bowl, mix the first seven ingredients until smooth. Cook vermicelli according to package directions and drain. (Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add scallops and shrimp; stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes or until scallops are firm and opaque and shrimp turn pink. Remove from pan.
2. Stir-fry peppers, snap (or snow) peas, garlic and ginger in remaining olive oil 3 to 5 minutes or just until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
3. Return seafood to pan; heat through. Stir in sesame oil. Drain vermicelli; add to pan and toss to combine. Makes 6 servings.
Lasagne or lasagna? It's acceptable to spell it either way.
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup butter plus 2 tablespoons, divided
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 bottle (8-oz.) clam juice (broth)
1 pound bay scallops
1 pound uncooked small shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 package (8-oz.) imitation crab meat, chopped (I prefer to use real crab)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper, divided (I just use black pepper)
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1. In a large skillet, saute the chopped green onion in oil and 2 tablespoons butter until tender. Stir in broth and clam juice; bring to a boil. Add scallops, shrimp, crab meat and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and scallops are firm and opaque, stirring gently. Drain, reserving cooking liquid; set seafood mixture aside.
2. In a large saucepan, melt remaining butter; stir in flour until smooth. Combine milk and reserved cooking liquid; gradually add to the saucepan. Add salt and remaining pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
3. Remove from heat and stir in cream and 1/4 cup of the shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir 3/4 cup of the white sauce into the seafood mixture.
4. Preheat oven to 350. Spread 1/2 cup white sauce in a greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Top with three noodles; spread with half of the seafood mixture and 1 1/4 cups sauce. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles, sauce and cheese.
5. Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Allow lasagna to stand about 15 minutes before cutting into serving pieces. Makes 12 servings.
Cat’s smoked salmon and asparagus penne
This recipe calls for a pretty good multigrain pasta.
1 box (14.5-oz.) Barilla Plus Multigrain Penne pasta
About 1 pound smoked salmon fillet (I use the softer kind rather than the more firm and dry, such as a Kirkland brand)
1 jar (16-oz.) Classico Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Sauce
1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends removed
Paprika, about 1 teaspoon
Seasoned salt, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cut asparagus into pieces about 2 inches in length. Saute or steam until just tender but not overcooked. Meanwhile, separate salmon slices (the kind I buy comes presliced, but if you can't get that, just slice thinly) and place on a microwave safe dish. The salmon can be eaten as is, but holds up better if slightly cooked. Cook salmon just until the meat turns opaque, being careful not to overcook the edges, lest they turn tough. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, heat water to boiling. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain in colander then place the pasta back into the pot.
3. Pour Alfredo sauce over the pasta, adding seasoned salt (don't add too much because the salmon has salt in it already) and paprika; stir to blend evenly. Carefully add salmon. It will break into chunks as you stir. Add cooked asparagus and toss gently. Add to a serving dish and reheat briefly. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.