Pasta is one of the easiest and most versatile dishes you can cook. The key is to always look for the freshest ingredients, so don’t be afraid to improvise and substitute ingredients with the things you find fresh that day. This is the best seafood pasta you will ever cook, because it is easy, simple, full of flavour and you just can’t go wrong.
Just keep in mind, when you go to your fish market or fishmonger, ask or look for the freshest ingredients. If the clams aren’t available or they don’t seem too fresh, skip them, replace them with mussels or whatever other seafood that catches your eye.
There is still so much belief that pasta is not healthy. But as everything else, you need to look for a good quality pasta, that has been produced in the best way possible, dried in a slow way. And never forget to cook your pasta al dente. A good quality pasta al dente doesn’t have such a terribly high glycemic index. And most important of all, there are basically no or very little traditional pasta recipes in Italy with a lot of meat or litres of cream. Meaty or more heavy pastas are usually left for special occasions, for Sunday cooking when you have time to cook a 3 hour ragu, for example. But most pasta recipes are quick and light, with any kind of vegetable or on special occasions seafood.
As for pasta brands, it is quite difficult to say, but if you are going to a supermarket, look for Garofalo, Rummo, De Cecco is not bad, if you go to specialised Italian shops, look for artisanal pastas, one of my favourites is Benedetto Cavalieri.
The fun thing about pasta is that once you get the hang of cooking it and improvising, you will never get bored. Improvise, use different ingredients, just keep it simple and look for fresh ingredients!
- 400g long pasta of your choice look for good quality
- 100 g clams soaked in saltwater to clean the sand
- 4 different kind of shrimp if you can't find different ones, just use the ones that are available
- 4 langoustines
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ tsp saffron
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- Boil water in a pot with a tbsp of salt for the pasta. The seafood will be cooked very quickly, so if your pasta needs at least 12 min of cooking time, you can start cooking the pasta as soon as the water is boiling. You should cook the pasta as indicated on the bag, minus 2 minutes, because we will finish cooking it with the seafood, so the sauce integrates better.
- In a pan preheat some olive oil and fry the chopped garlic cloves, just until you can start smelling the perfume. You don't want to burn them.
- Add the langoustines and shrimp to the pan and cook for 2min. Add the saffron, tomato paste, glass of white wine and the clams. If the tomato is very acidic, I suggest putting just a pinch of sugar.Cook for 2 min again to evaporate some of the alcohol and then put the lid on the pan until the clams are completely open and cooked. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes.
- If the pasta is not cooked by this point, turn down the heat to the seafood, so it doesn't overcook and become chewy. Once 2 minutes are left for the pasta, turn the seafood pan on again and put the pasta inside to toss it with the sauce until fully cooked. Save at least ½ cup of the pasta cooking water to add to the seafood, as it will help the sauce to integrate better and it won't be dry. It's better to have a slightly more liquid sauce when serving than no sauce at all.
- Serve with some chopped parsley.