Saturday, September 25, 2010

Seafood pasta with lemon basil sauce

My oldest daughter LOVES clams. So I thought I would see what canned clams tasted like, we've never had them before. They were OK, they are clams, nothing like fresh. They still tasted good. I think half the fun of clams is taking them out of the shell, especially for my girls. While I was putting this dish together and adding different ingredients I thought to myself there is no way anyone is going to eat this. I'm going to have tons of leftovers. I don't know why I thought that. Pixie- miss picky I at least hoped, would eat the pasta. Turns out EVERYONE had seconds and there was no leftovers. Crazy. You just never know I guess.
When I was thinking of dinner and what flavors I wanted with the seafood (scallops, shrimp, clams) I knew I didn't want anything heavy with a roux. I wanted something light, with citrus, basil, fresh tomatoes and garlic. This is what I came up with. If you use fresh clams, wash and rinse them and add them to the pot, cover and cook until they open. Then add the other seafood that needs less cooking time. There are no weights for the seafood because I forgot to write them down. 
Next time I make this dish I will change a few things

- use fresh clams
- I added a touch of cream and honestly, it did nothing for the dish so next time I will leave it out.
-bigger scallops
- find that box of angel hair pasta that I KNOW I bought last week :P the spaghetti was kind of heavy to me.
- add some oregano and basil during cooking to layer the flavors
- more garlic

1 pound cooked spaghetti- reserve 1 cup cooking liquid/water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small onion finely chopped
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 can clams drained 
shrimp- shelled and de veined (mine were precooked)
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1 1/2 to 2 lemons
1/3 cup cream - optional
1 cup basil chiffionade- use fresh FLAT leaf parsley as a great substitute- it would compliment the lemon also
1 tomato chopped/medium dice
Heat oil and butter in a large pan. Add pepper flakes and garlic. Cook until fragrant then add the onion. Cook until crisp tender.
Add the mushrooms.
Season with salt and pepper.

Add the clams, since these are canned they just need to be warmed.  Add the scallops right after so they can cook. Scallops don't take long, don't over cook them.
Add the lemon zest and juice. TASTE TASTE TASTE. Adjust the seasonings.

(I did not add liquid, that came naturally, if you want to add some white wine, chicken broth or reserved cooking liquid from the pasta).
 Add the shrimp to warm. Stir in cream.
Toss the pasta in the pan. You can toss the tomato and basil in at this point and serve right away also. *I left the tomato and basil out and put them on top of each plate because I thought I would have leftovers and I wanted the basil and tomato to be fresh with each serving. I also had Parmesan cheese on the table for anyone who might want it.

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