It’s Valentine’s day, so I offered to cook my darling wife whatever took her fancy. She asked for this. I can’t say I blame her, we both love seafood, and when done right, this simple recipe produces an awesome supper. My only problem with it, is that it’s difficult to hold oneself to only one helping …
- 3 or 4 (or as many as you like) garlic cloves, crushed or finely sliced.
- 1 small onion (or 3-4 shallots), finely diced.
- 200g cherry tomatoes, halved.
- A glass of white wine. (150ml roughly)
- Fish, chicken or vegetable stock cube (optional).
- 300g (give or take) frozen seafood mix. Try to include prawns and crab claws.
- Bunch of fresh parsley (or basil)
- Pasta (spaghetti, linguine, tagliatelle, or whatever you have handy).
- Salt & pepper to season.
For the pasta (10-12 mins)
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, but slightly under cook it, as you’re going to finish it in the sauce. You need it a little underdone, so that it can become al-denté in the sauce.
For the sauce(15 mins)
- In a sauté pan with a dash of olive oil, sauté your garlic, onions and cherry tomatoes. A knob of butter will help the flavour along here too (optional).
- Once softened, add the wine and stock cube (if using), and bring to the boil. Ensure the stock cube is dissolved and distributed.
- Add your seafood and cover until the seafood defrosts and begins to steam, then remove the lid and allow the stock to reduce. In the end you want just a little more than will cover the base of the pan.
- Once sufficiently reduced, add your pasta to the fish pan. Toss it around and allow it to soak up the remaining stock.
- Finish with the chopped parsley, and adjust your seasoning.
Things to watch out for
- Start with the sauce as it usually takes a little longer than the pasta to cook. You can have your pasta pot coming to the boil as you prepare. If you do end up with the pasta cooked first, just drain it and toss it in olive oil to stop it sticking.
- If you can, using fresh seafood works out better. Frozen is fine, but it can introduce a lot of water to your stock and you run the risk of overcooking your fish as you have more stock to reduce. If you’re using frozen, hold back on some of the wine to control the amount of stock in the pan (you can always add more if you feel it’s needed). The stock cube helps make this water useful.
- Try to get some crab claws in there. They’ll introduce a lovely flavour, reminiscent of bisque. The knob of butter in step 1 helps this along too.
- You can spice this up too by adding some fresh chilli, or chilli flakes with your sauté vegetables.