In all honesty, I don’t cook seafood as often as I would like to eat it. I really need to work on this.
I don’t have any good excuses for this lack of seafood preparation, either. Fish and shellfish are really easy to prepare and cook up quick in most circumstances. I have had few encounters with seafood that I didn’t like (oysters being one), so that’s not it, either. There’s no shortage of fresh fish at my local markets, even though we aren’t near the ocean (no, all of California is NOT at the beach!!). So the mystery remains.
None-the-less, when I prepare some sort of seafood meal, it’s a good day. It will be your good day, too, when you make this seafood pasta dish.
What makes this recipe so wonderful is that it is flexible. I get pre-arranged packages of mixed seafood, but really any combination will work. These packages contain an equal blend of calamari, shrimp, and scallops, along with pre-cooked mussels in the shell. However, you could create your own mixture of similar ingredients, putting more or less of something as your tastes desire!
Tomato and Seafood Pasta Sauce Recipe
- 2 lbs. mixed soft seafood like scallops, shrimp, calamari, crab, lobster, etc., all shells removed before weighing
- 1/2 lb. mussels in the shell, or 1/2 cup mussel meat (or 2 lb. clams in the shell, or 1/2 cup clam meat)
- 3 1/2 c. fresh diced tomatoes, or canned diced tomatoes
- 1 3/4 c. tomato sauce
- 1 c. sliced shallots or onions
- 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1/4 pine nuts
- 1/4 c. drained capers
- 1/4 c. finely chopped marinated artichoke hearts
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/4 c. sliced Kalamata olives
- 1 c. white wine (cheap jug-o-wine Chablis works great!)
- 1/4 c. olive oil, extra virgin preferred
Put the tomatoes into a strainer placed over a bowl or other container to catch the juices. Place the drained tomatoes into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped, but not quite pureed. Set the tomatoes and juices aside.
Put the olive oil in a large stock pot on the stove and add the shallots. Turn the heat to high until the shallots start to sizzle, then turn the heat down to medium low. Continue to sauté the shallots until they are translucent. Add the garlic and the pine nuts and cook for another minute.
Add all the remaining ingredients except for the seafood. Cook the sauce down until it becomes thickened and almost pasty. You want to reduce it this much because once the seafood is added a lot of moisture will come out of it and make the sauce thinner.
Before adding your seafood, check to make sure there are no shell fragments. These can be dangerous if they are accidentally bitten, and worse if swallowed! Add the seafood and mix in. Cook until shrimp are pink and other shellfish are firm.
Serve hot over pasta of your choice. I recommend using bowls since the sauce is on the thinner side. Tastes great with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and a slab of hearty bread to mop up the extra sauce!