Friday, December 24, 2010

Mixed Shellfish Linguine

Christmas Eve at our house is always a no meat meal in keeping with Roman Catholic tradition and this past holiday was no exception. I decided to experiment with the pasta and surprised myself in a pleasant way, since this was all done without referencing anything, just off the cuff.

1 lb. linguine
1 lb. tiger prawns
2 doz. Clams
1C crab meat
1C mussels
1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes
2C mussel broth
1 large yellow onion
3 large cloves garlic
1/4t red pepper
3 dried sage leaves
1/2t dried thyme
1/4t saffron threads
extra virgin olive oil 
chopped parsley to garnish

After dicing the onion, place it in a large pan over medium heat and saute in olive oil until translucent. Saute added herbs and garlic. 
Now add the can of diced tomatoes, stir, then also add the mussel broth or canned clam juice if you prefer. Mussels optional also.
Because the broth thins out this sauce, it's necessary to cook it down on medium high heat until it thickens. Heat the pasta water.
Once the sauce had been reduced by half you can start adding the seafood, but lower the temperature, so the sauce won't scorch.
Add prawns and crab meat, stir while mixing into the sauce. Once the prawns start turning pink, submerge them into the sauce.
Now add the clams on top of the sauce and cover the pot with a lid so the clams will steam. Add linguine to the pasta water.
Once the clams open, remove them and the prawns from the sauce and set aside and cover. Use them to garnish the plate of pasta.
When the pasta is al dente, drain it and place in the sauce pan so it can absorb some of the sauce that has thinned out since the clams were cooked. 
Gently fold in the mussels if you're adding them, just before plating so they don't overcook and get rubbery.  
Plate the pasta, then surround the outside with the prawns and top them with the clams in their shells. Garnish with chopped parsley. 

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