Italian pasta with simple or complex sauces is universal fare now-a-days. The variety of pasta shapes is numerous also; everything from bow-ties, little hats, manicotti, gnocchi, and sea shells to linguini, spaghetti, fettuccine, and paparadelle noodles. You can’t pick up a magazine without seeing a pasta recipe with a new twist, they simply are everywhere. Even before the Romans, Italy grew the durum wheat for pasta. The Romans baked their pasta rather like lasagna. However, it was some time before Italians boiled pasta. Marco Polo is responsible for re-introducing pasta to Italy in a new form… Chinese noodles. For a more complete history of Italian pasta and tomato sauce, go to http://lifeinitaly.com/food/pasta-history.asp
This quick and easy pasta sauce is ready in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta to al dente. The mix of seafood includes squid, crab, shrimp, mussels and steamer clams. Mixed seafood is available in most supermarket freezers or at your local fish monger. This sauce also works with flaked marlin, swordfish, halibut, or tuna. Get creative and add one of your favorite ingredients… perhaps capers, sweet peas, ramps, mushrooms, or cardoons.
Ingredients: – makes 4 servings
- 1 pound pasta noodles
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 pound mixed seafood
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 scallions, chopped tops and bulbs
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 4 cloves)
- 1 shallot, minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 sprig tarragon, chopped or ½ tsp dried tarragon
- Pinch of marjoram or oregano
- Couple dashes of Tabasco sauce or red pepper flakes to taste
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Bring large pot of water with 1 Tbsp salt to a boil.
- Cook pasta in boiling water until it is al dente.
- Drain and hold.
- In a skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter until it froths. Add the scallions, garlic, shallots, and seafood. Sauté until aromatic and the shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes. The seafood will be slightly undercooked at this point. Remove from skillet.
- Add wine to the skillet and reduce to half, about 6 minutes.
- Slowly add cream, whisking gently so that the cream thickens.
- Add tarragon, marjoram, salt and pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Stir in seafood to combine.
- Toss with boiled noodles, plate, pour the remaining sauce over, and garnish with the parsley.