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The Best Seafood Pasta you will Ever Eat.

 
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peter
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2022 5:50 am    Post subject: The Best Seafood Pasta you will Ever Eat. Reply with quote

Take 160 grams of raw peeled king prawns and cut each prawn in half. Take 80 grams of scallops and also cut into pieces of about the same size as the halved prawns.

Set your pasta (spaghetti or linguini and enough for two people) to boil in well seasoned water (taste the water - use your palate to get it to the point where if say, it were a soup it would be the right saltiness).

Assuming a cooking time of about 12 mins for the pasta, after about 4 mins set a heavy based frying pan on a low heat and melt a couple of good knobs of butter and a splash of extra virgin olive oil in it (say 2 oz and 2 tablespoons respectively).

Nb the amounts given here are all a bit rough because you can see what you are doing here, and you know what will suffice for the job.

Put two or three cloves of thinly sliced and chopped garlic into the oil (which should not be hot enough to frizzle in the pan; you are coaxing the flavour of the garlic out, not frying the shit out of it) and also a small quantity of chilli flakes (according to your liking of heat in a dish). After a minute or two of infusing the oil add the chopped seafood to the pan and raise the heat a bit to get it cooking. Season with sea-salt and pepper and stir it about, add some love - this is going to pay you back tenfold.

When the seafood is looking pretty cooked (it'll take a few minutes on this low level heat) add 6 cherry tomatoes (quartered) into the pan and also a handful of fine chopped coriander (fresh). Continue to stir around and keep it moving for a minute or so and then add a half ladle of the pasta water into the mix (not too much, just enough to make a bit of a liquor sauce in the pan). Maybe increase the heat a bit if it needs reducing - you're not making a soup - and work it around as it does so. By now the seafood will be well cooked (but not shrivelled to shit as they would be if they were fried on high heat) and the tomatoes will be breaking down. You're going to be about twelve minutes into the cooking time and the pasta will be ready.

Divide the pasta into two bowls and when you're satisfied that the contents of the frying pan have 'married' into something you'd like to eat, spoon the seafood and the remaining sauce in the pan over the top.

Dust with fresh grated parmesan cheese - the regiano one - and sprinkle a bit of chopped coriander onto the whole. Black pepper from the grater and maybe a splash of truffle oil. If you get your reduction just right, there will be enough sauce just to see a bit in the bottom of the bowls as you eat. The more you reduced it, the better it will coat the pasta, but hey - it will taste so frikkin' great that who cares if you have a bit of soup in the bowl.

All of this assumes that you are going to spring for good quality ingredients - it goes without saying that the better the starting materials, the better the results, but you don't have to be silly about it. Also you are going to need to do your prep in advance and with love. Take your time. Chop your coriander slowly and well: same with the garlic. Get your chilli flakes ready and your parmesan grated (finely). Have everything laid out ready before you start because you are going to need to be focused on that pan, using your eyes, your ears, to get the cooking going at just the speed you want it to (tip; at no point should it be 'frying' like a piece of bacon in a pan).

You make this dish like I have told you and I promise, you'll roll back when you've eaten the last spoonful and know that you've just eaten the best pasta dish you've ever had in your life. People will beat a path to your door for the privilege of having you serve them the your seafood pasta.

As for the list of ingredients - write them out yourself!

Wink
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Menolly
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds wonderful, Peter! Cilantro in a pasta sauce... fascinating.

I would attempt only a couple of changes.

First, I like my pasta fairly al dente, so I only boil it for about 7 minutes.
Second, I shallow boil dry pasta. Basically, I lay the pasta flat in a wide pan and just barely cover with water. Once boiling, add salt to taste. Stir the pasta around so it doesn't stick to the pan or to each other. Reduce heat to a gentle boil, but more than a simmer.

Most, but not all, of the water will evaporate by the end of 7 minutes boiling time. However, I find it tends to be enough to bring a sauce together. Instead of adding a ladle of pasta water to the sauce, I add the sauce to the pasta and remaining water to toss together. The water seems to be perfect every time.

I'll definitely give it a shot when I try your receipt.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2022 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Menolly!

I've been using the method of finishing the pasta in the sauce when I've been making spaghetti aglio e olio, and it really works to get it absorbing the flavours for the last part of the cooking (in the frying pan obviously, where you have been infusing the oil). In the aglio e olio however, I am using considerably more pasta water than I am in this seafood dish, and I don't know if the pasta would finish as well with just this smaller quantity of water. (You could use more water to get over this, thinking about it, and it would work just as well I'm sure.

I find finishing pasta in a frying pan (and sauce) almost demands that it be served al dente because (for some reason) it just doesn't cook as fast as when it is in a large quantity of water in a pan.

My recipe was first cooked a couple of weeks ago and then tweaked with a second preparation on Monday. I was so pleased with it (and so frightened that I would forget what I'd done) that I banged out the post today more as an aide memoire than anything else. But yes - the recipe can be tweaked in whatever way anyone fancies to achieve a more personalized dish (as it were).

I'm researching recipes for cacio e pepe to have a go at for the weekend.I'm just so into these really simple pasta classics at the moment - you have to get them bang on for them to be right, but if you do, then they elevate your appreciation of pasta tenfold. All of a sudden it moves from that lazy mid-week fix-it to the realms of high culinary art. That small number of ingredients has to be balanced perfectly, put together with grace and care, for the magic to work. But when it does the effect is of another dimension!

In addition, I find that the preparation (which has to be meticulous and of the highest level) followed by the execution of the dish......well, the whole thing has an almost Zen tea-ceremony, a meditative aspect almost, to it. You have to be in a mentally ordered state to pull it off. Probably just me, I know, but kitchens have ever been therapeutic places for me!

Very Happy
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When your wages are so low that they do not meet your basic needs, then debt and wage bondage inevitably follow. At this point you are effectively existing in a state of slavery.

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
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