Shrimp and scallops, seared in butter and oil and baked in a foil package with pasta and a simple tomato sauce. A shot of warm cream at the end sends it over the top!
Since I left the ranch five days ago—first New York, now Baaaahhhhhston—I’ve been eating seafood as if my life depended on it. I’m on a jag. Please send help before I start eating shrimp for breakfast.
This is a tweak version of an older recipe here, one that can be adapted in many different ways depending on the seafood you have, the pasta you want to use, and the kind of sauce you’re in the mood for. I made it for dinner when my mom and Betsy were visiting a couple of months ago (a get-together that’ll be featured on tomorrow’s Food Network episode) and I made it again last week, when I decided to take some new pictures of its splendorous glory.
Or its glorious splendor. Not sure which.
Begin by quickly browning scallops in a skillet with a little olive oil and a little butter.
You don’t need to cook the heck out of them; just get as much color on the outside as you can in as little time as possible—just about 45 seconds to 1 minute per side.
Remove the scallops to a plate, and gaze upon their beauty.
I love scallops. Deeply.
Do the same with the shrimp, adding them in a single layer…
And removing them to a plate once they’re brown. (Again, don’t worry about cooking them completely at this point.)
Add a tiny bit more oil to the pan, then throw in a bunch of chopped garlic. Stir it around for just a few seconds, the (forgive the no-picture thing) pour in some dry white wine. Let this bubble up and reduce…
Then pour in a large can of tomatoes—either whole or diced, add salt and pepper and a little crushed red pepper, then let it cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
(And this is where you can change the direction of this recipe: if you don’t want to go the tomato route, you can do some chunky items like quartered artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, mushrooms, even zucchini and other veggies to take a more primavera approach. Just brown the veggies a bit and splash in a little chicken broth for some liquid, as this is going to eventually bake with the pasta in the oven.)
Cook the pasta until it’s cooked but still quite firm—just a little under the amount of time you’d cook it if you were serving it right away.
Next, take two large sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil and overlap them on an ovenproof platter with a little depth to it OR just a regular rectangular baking dish of some sort. Overlap the sheets by about 6 inches, then use your hands to smooth the foil against the bottom of the platter.
Pour the cooked pasta into the platter/dish…
Then pour all the contents of the skillet over the pasta.
Note that you want to have a little extra liquid here since it’s going to bake in the oven, so if it seems like it needs a little more juice, just splash a little bit of chicken broth over the top.
Next, pour on the shrimp and the scallops, making sure to get all the lovely juices from the plate.
Gosh. In my current seafood-loving state of mind, I see this as a platter full of dang bliss right here.
But wait—don’t eat it yet. Gather up the ends of the foil and tightly fold them down, gathering up the sides into a neat little package. Then put the whole thing into a 350 oven for 15 minutes, just until the seafood is fully cooked and all the ingredients have met and fallen in love and gotten married.
To serve it, just open up the foil…
And (this is an optional–albeit decadent–little touch) drizzle on a little bit of warm cream all over the top. The cream will just settle in a bit and add some incredible richness and sin to the whole thing, and as you use tongs to serve it up, it’ll evenly distribute over all the pasta and sauce.
And the world will make perfect sense again.
Right before you serve it, tear a bunch of basil leaves and sprinkle them over the top.
I’m sorry, but the world doesn’t get any better than that.
Enjoy this, guys! It’s the perfect Friday night dinner.
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