Pasta with Red and White Seafood Sauces


Linguini with Shrimp Scampi
Linguine alle Vongole (Traditional)
     Linguini with White Clam Sauce
Linguine alle Vongole (Version 2)
     Linguini with White Clam Sauce
Pasta with Shrimp and Oven Dried Tomato
Bold Shrimp and Pasta with Pete’s Garlic Oil and Fire Roasted tomatoes
        Delicate Red Shrimp Sauce, Traditional  
          Traditional Red Seafood Sauce with with Shrimp, Clams, and Mussels
          Red Seafood Sauce with Shrimp, Clams and Mussels…Unconventional
        Red Shrimp Sauce Made with Simple Cubed Tomatoes, Flavored with
             Fresh Clam Broth
       


Linguini with Shrimp Scampi
Linguini cooked al dente is topped with shrimp and scampi sauce, finished with chopped parsley and bread crumbs and thinned with pasta water.  Linguini van be replaced with angel hair pasta, a chic alternative but be careful.  Angel hair is easy to accidentally overcook.  I'm also partial to meatier pastas like penne.  Regardless of which best matches your taste, you will love this dish.
Ingredients:
Shrimp Scampi
  • 1 1/2 pounds of large shrimp 
  • 1 quarter pound of butter, one stick
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic
  • Few grinds each of salt and pepper
Assembled with
  • 1 pound of linguine, angel hair, or your favorite pasta
  • Chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup plain or seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup pasta cooking water
  • Optional, grated parmigiana cheese
Remove shrimp shells, devein, Rinse in cold water and pat dry.  Set them aside.

In a pot, large enough to comfortably hold all of the shrimp and sauce, melt the butter over low heat.  Add olive oil lemon juice, scallions, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cool to warm or room temperature.

Place a large pot of salted water on high. 
      
Stir shrimp in the scampi sauce.  Line shrimp in a sided cookie sheet.  Ladle remaining scampi sauce over the shrimp.  Set aside. 

Once rapidly boiling, add the pasta to the water and stir.  Follow instructions for cooking the pasta al dente.  When ready, reserve a cup of pasta water.  Place pasta in colander and place back into the drained pasta pot.    
Pre-heat broiler.  Broil the shrimp for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the tops are pink.  Flip the shrimp over and quickly broil until just cooked through.  Try not to overcook.  Remove from broiler.
 
Add the shrimp and all the scampi sauce over the pasta and stir.  Combine with parsley and bread crumbs.  Add pasta water a little at a time to desired sauce consistency.  Adjust seasoning.   Serve with grated parmigiana.  




Linguine alle Vongole (Traditional)
Linguini with White Clam Sauce
Linguine with white or red clam sauce were also staples in our home.  Clams of every size and variety were always available and relatively inexpensive. 

White clam sauce recipes didn’t vary very much among families.  Some might add thin sliced scallions or finish the dish with butter but the essence of the dish remained fairly standard and with relatively simple ingredients.  This sauce is light yet incredible flavorful; preparations and cooking times are quick and easy.     

This dish is best made with small clams noted for their delicate taste and tenderness.  However, if overcooked, they quickly become tough.  The secret of this dish is timing.  Linguini is placed in boiling salted water just prior to preparing the sauce.  Once pasta is cooked al dente, the clams should be about ready to steam open in the clam sauce.      

Although my recipe calls for Peter’s garlic oil for milder garlic flavors, you can use chopped or minced garlic sautéed in plain olive oil and add pinch of red pepper flakes.     
Ingredients:
Pete’s garlic oil
  •  1/3rd cup of olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Other Ingredients
  • 2 dozen live little neck clams about 3 pounds
  • 1 pound linguini
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped flat Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Note:  begin cooking the pasta before assembling the clam sauce.  No delays will help ensure the sauce and delicate clams aren’t overcooked.  Have all prep work completed, including ingredients measured ahead and the pasta colander and serving plate ready.
    
Earlier, make a pot of Pete’s garlic oil.  Remove the rough tip from garlic cloves.  Slice them in half lengthwise leaving skins on.  Add remaining ingredients.  Place pot on medium heat.  When it begins to simmer, lower heat to a slow simmer.  When garlic tans and becomes very soft garlic oil is ready.  Turn off heat and remove skins.      

Brush clams under cold running water making sure to remove any debris.

Place a large pot of salted water over high heat.  When the water reaches a brisk boil, add the linguini.  Follow approximate package times for cooking the linguini al dente.  Sample earlier and make sure pasta doesn’t overcook.  Drain in the colander.  Place linguini back into the emptied pasta cooking pot   

After linguini is initially placed in the boiling water, add the flavored oil from Pete’s garlic oil in a large sauté pan with high sides.  Stir in wine and lemon juice and heat.  When it reaches a simmer, add and stir clams.  Cover the pot and maintain a simmer.  When the clams are mostly opened, stir in the butter, about half of the parsley and the remaining contents of Pete’s garlic oil pot.  

Ladle some of the liquid from the clam sauce into the pasta and mix.  Place pasta in a large serving bowl.  Empty the clams and sauce onto the pasta and position the clams on top.  Discard any that aren’t open.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.



Linguine alle Vongole (Version 2)
Linguini with White Clam Sauce
This sauce is made with fresh shucked little neck clams and every drop of the juices they release.  Fresh clams are readily available most of the year in grocery stores. Many clam sauce recipes are prepared by steaming live clams sometime during the cooking of the sauce.  Perhaps a convenient alternative, but the clams are at risk of being overcooked and toughened.

Shucking smaller clams are quick and easy especially after the first few.  I recommend you visit one of the many instructional websites with illustrations and/or pictures on the best and safest ways to shuck the clams.  Remember to shuck them over a bowl.  You want to capture all of their juices.       
Ingredients:
Pete's garlic oil
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil, 6 garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon of Tuscany seasoning
Additional Ingredients
  •     3 dozen live little neck clams
  •     2 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions
  •     1/4 cup dry white wine
  •     3 tablespoons chopped flat Italian parsley
  •     2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •     1 pound linguine cooked al dente
  •     Parmigiana cheese
  •     salt and pepper
Make Pete's garlic oil earlier with proportions to the left.  Place olive oil, garlic cloves cored and cut lengthwise, pepper flakes and Tuscany seasons.  Place on medium heat to a simmer, lower to keep a slow simmer.  Garlic will nicely brown and soften in 2 to 3 hours.             
Shuck clams over a bowl and capture all of their juices.  Transfer the clams to another bowl but first dip them in the liquid to release any debris.  Pour the remaining clam liquid into the new bowl through a fine strainer.  Refrigerate until needed. 

Pour the oil from Pete's garlic oil into a pan large enough to comfortably hold all of the sauce and cooked linguine.  Sautee the scallions until they are translucent.  Add the wine and clam juice.  Simmer for about 2 minutes.  Add the clams, the rest of the contents of Pete's garlic oil (garlic, spices and oil), butter and parsley.

When the butter is melted stir all contents then combine the cooked linguini.  Add grated cheese to taste (about 1/2 cup).  Adjust for salt and pepper and serve. 




Pasta with Shrimp and Oven Dried Tomato
Basic recipe for slow oven dried tomato is featured in the prior tab, “Pasta with Red Sauces”.  This technique produces tomatoes that are mostly dried but retain some moisture.  Olive oil becomes tomato and garlic infused. 
  
Cored and halved tomatoes are mixed in a bowl with kosher salt, and ample amounts of olive oil, rough chopped garlic cloves and fresh basil. 
Contents are bowl are emptied in a cookie sheet round sides down and placed in a preheated 175º degree oven.  They are ready in 10 or 12 hours.

This technique condenses and intensifies tomato's flavors and the olive oil becomes infused with garlic, tomato, and basil.  Shrimp are sautéed until just cooked through in some of the infused oil and the finished tomatoes are cut in half again. 
Serve over your favorite pasta cooked al dente.  This is a real treat.

Note:  I usually load the cookie sheet with tomatoes and mixture in the evening and place in the oven just before going to bed.  In the morning, I check progress; flip them over if more time is needed.        
Ingredients:
  • 3-pounds fresh plum tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup olive oil or more
  • 3 large garlic cloves cut in quarters
  • Fresh basil, cut in strips
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound Rigatoni or your favorite pasta
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise.  Remove their rough core.  Place them in a large bowl.  Mix them with olive oil, garlic and basil.  Have the mixture sit for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

Spread tomatoes round side down in a rimed cookie sheet.  Pour all remaining contents of the bowl over them.  Bake sheet in a 175 oven, not convection.
Tomatoes will be ready in about 10 to 12 hours, when mostly dried but still moist, about 10 to 12 hours.  Check their progress after drying 8 or 9 hours.  You can flip tomatoes over and continue drying. 

Cook pasta in boiling and salted water until al dente and strain.       
While pasta is cooking, rinse shrimp and pat dry.  Pour some of the flavored olive oil in a large high rimmed sauté pot.  Cook shrimp until just cooked through.  Mix with oven dried tomato mixture. 

Place some of the sauce in the empty pasta pot.  Add pasta and stir.  Place pasta in a large serving dish.  Ladle shrimp and sauce on top.  Serve with grated parmigiana on the side. 



Bold Shrimp and Pasta with Pete’s Garlic Oil and Fire Roasted tomatoes
This simple sauce gets its intense complex flavors by combining two different sauces.  Both are delicious on their own. 

Pete’s Garlic Oil, my base for pasta Aglio e Olio, is made with fresh garlic slow simmered with olive oil, herbs, kosher salt, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  It creates garlic infused oil and sweet pot roasted garlic.

The other is a red sauce with robust fire roasted tomatoes flavored with charred shrimp.  Their shells are separately sautéed and discarded to release even more flavor.
    
All ingredients are combined to finish this terrific sauce.

Please don’t serve with grated parmigiana.  Many Italian purists frown against adding strong cheeses to seafoods.  It is especially true with this dish.  It will overpowering and distract this already flavorful dish.            
Ingredients:
Pete’s Garlic Oil
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 10 large garlic cloves with skin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tuscany seasoning (or several fresh sage leaves, a sprig of rosemary and a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
Additional Ingredients:
  • 1 to 1 ¼ pounds large shrimp preferably with shells
  • 1 28 oz. ounce can crushed roasted tomatoes, “Dei Fratelli PRIMA QUALITY Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes” or similar.
  • 1-pound penne, rigatoni or other favorite pasta

Prepare Garlic oil several hours ahead.  Remove rough tips from garlic cloves and slice in half lengthwise.  Retain skins.  Place in a butter melting pot with higher sides and remaining ingredients.  Place over medium heat until a light simmer.  Reduce heat to lowest and continue simmering until skins are released and garlic cloves are softened and richly browned with the consistency of oven roasted garlic.

Rinse shrimp in cold water.  Remove shells and and reserve.  Devein shrimp.  

In a larger pot capable of holding all ingredients, sauté shrimp shells in some of the garlic flavored oil, releasing their flavor. Remove them with a slotted spoon retaining drippings in the pot.  Discard shells. 

Quick char shrimp for a few minutes while flipping.  They are ready when just cooked through; reserve shrimp. 

Simmer tomatoes in the same pot until heated through.  Add contents of the pot of garlic and oil.  Heat through and slow  simmer while pasta is cooking.  Add salt to taste and red pepper flakes for heat if desired.   

Cook pasta in rapidly boiling and salted water.  When al dente, reserve a cup of pasta water and strain.

Reheat shrimp in the sauce.  Place a couple of ladles of sauce in the bottom of the drained pasta pot.  Add pasta and coat with the shrimp sauce.  If needed, thin with reserved pasta water.

Serving either family style or plated.  Top with abundant sauce.  Have more sauce available for guests to add if desired.

As discussed above, I strongly recommend not making grated cheese available.  If asked, you can politely tell them it doesn’t go with this dish.         


              
Delicate Red Shrimp Sauce, Traditional
With Imported Italian Pasta

This Red Shrimp Sauce is flavorful without overpowering delicate shrimp.  Premium plum tomatoes without puree imported from San Marino Italy are preferred.  Finished sauce should be light retaining some fresh tomato taste. 

Ingredients are assembled and systematically cooked in a single flavor pot capturing all flavors, shrimp’s shells tossed in hot oil.

To help ensure shrimp are not overcooked, they are quick sauteed in the same flavor pot in garlic oil until outsides are just pink and slightly translucent inside.  They are frigerated, reheated in the warm shrimp sauce just before serving.

Base sauce is made with a combination of premium crushed tomatoes, slow simmered garlic infused olive oil, and lots of fresh basil.  Combined with shrimp results in a remarkably delicious sauce.  Next recipe further enhances the dish with mussels and clams. 

This recipe will easily serve 8.  


Ingredients:
​​​​​​​Slow simmered garlic oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Remaining Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of large shrimp, 21 to 30 per pound, preferably with shells
  • 2-28oz cans of crushed or whole premium plum tomatoes*
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 or 4 5-inch stalks of fresh basil.
  • Salt, black pepper and additional red pepper flakes. 
  • Bottled clam juice
  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds of linguini or your favorite pasta

Garlic Oil...​​​​​​​Well ahead remove course tips from garlic and slice each in half lengthwise.  Retain skin.  Place in a narrow butter melting style pot with 1 cup olive oil, pinches of Kosher salt and red pepper.  Place over medium heat.  As the oil starts to simmer, reduce heat to lowest.  Garlic and oil are ready when skins are released, and garlic is tanned, softened, and sweet.  Remove skins and set pot aside.

Remove shrimp shells.  Cook shells in some of the garlic oil until for about 5 minutes.  Remove skins with a slotted spoon reserving as much of the liquid as you can.  Discard the shells. 

Quick toss shrimp until lightly pink outside, still slightly translucent inside.  When cooled to room temperature refrigerate.

Add the remainder of Peter's infused garlic and oil, canned tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil stocks, and about a cup of clam juice.  Simmer mostly covered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add more bottled clam juice (or water) as needed.  Remove basil stocks.      

When pasta is almost cooked al dente, reheat the shrimp and residual juices in the sauce.  Reserve a cup of pasta water.  Strain pasta.  Place in a bowl or serving platter

Toss pasta with some of the shrimp sauce.  If needed, add some of the reserved pasta water for desired consistency.   Add more sauce on top plus more sauce to serve. 

Another option, place in individual serving dishes also topped with more shrimp sauce.      



Traditional Red Seafood Sauce with with Shrimp, Clams, and Mussels

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Base recipe is a version of my “Delicate Red Shrimp Sauce”, above.  Adding clams and mussels creates more delicious and complex taste.  As above, ingredients are systematically assembled to prevent overcooking.  

To accommodate volume of clams and mussels, shrimp is reduced to 1 ½ pounds, and an extra can of tomatoes as also added. 

As discussed above, seafood sauce must be light retaining taste of fresh tomato.  Premium tomatoes without puree imported from San Marino Italy are preferred.    

Selection of Clams: Hard shell clams come in a variety of sizes.  The larger the clams, the chewier the meat when cooked. Their biggest, quahogs, have a distinctive earthy flavor.  Because of their toughness they are best used chopped for stews and claim chowders. 

Smaller Littleneck clams are a good option for this recipe

A larger pot with more surface area helps toss ingredients and steam clams and mussels.    ​​​​​​​

Ingredients:  

Slow simmered garlic oil

  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Remaining Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds of large shrimp, 21 to 30 per pound, preferably with shells
  • 3-28oz cans of crushed or whole premium plum tomatoes*
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 or 4 5-inch stalks of fresh basil.
  • Salt, black pepper and additional red pepper flakes as needed. 
  • Bottled clam juice
  • 32 live littleneck clams
  • 1-pound large fresh mussels
  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds of linguini or your favorite pasta

Garlic oil…Well ahead remove course tips from garlic and slice each in half lengthwise.  Retain skin.  Place in a narrow butter melting style pot with 1 cup olive oil, pinches of Kosher salt and red pepper.  Place over medium heat.  As the oil starts to simmer, reduce heat to lowest.  Garlic and oil are ready when skins are released, garlic is tanned, softened, and sweet.  Remove skins and set pot aside.

Remove shrimp shells.  Cook shells in some of the garlic oil until for about 5 minutes.  Remove skins with a slotted spoon reserving as much of the liquid as you can.  Discard shells. 

Quick toss shrimp until lightly pink outside, still slightly translucent inside.  Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

Add the remainder of Peter's infused garlic and oil, canned tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil stocks, and about a cup of clam juice.  Simmer with cover ajar for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add more bottled clam juice (or water) as needed.  Remove basil stocks.     

While simmering, scrub clams and mussels under cold water.  Remove "beards" from the mussels. Set aside. 

​​​​​​​When sauce is nearly ready, in about 2 hours remove basil from pot.   

While pasta is cooking in briskly boiling salted water, sread clams and mussels over sauce.  Add more clam broth for efficient steaming if needed.  Cover and increase heat.  Discard any that do not open.  Lower heat to light simmer and warm shrimp.        

Reserve a cup of pasta water.  When al dente, strain pasta.  Place into a large serving bowl.  Toss with sauce and some of the reserved pasta water if needed to help cream the sauce. 




Red Seafood Sauce with Shrimp, Clams and Mussels…Unconventional

This version starts with “Traditional Red Seafood Sauce with Shrimp, Clams and Mussels”, above.  The difference is the selections and preparations of mussels and clams.  Replace littleneck clams with larger cherrystone clams.  Substitute fresh mussels with frozen precooked mussels.  Instructions below.   

Directions:

Following instructions for "Traditional Red Seafood Sauce with Shrimp, Clams and Mussels” above.

Defrost mussels and shuck clams reserving juices.  When sauce is nearly ready and pasta is boling,  empty sealed bag of mussels and opened clams and gently toss.  Add shrimp and serve when warmed through.    

Increase heat to a simmer.  Add clams and their juices.  Slit bag with mussels and fold contents into sauce.  Clams and mussels are done when warmed through.  Heat shrimp in sauce and serve with pasta. 

Shucking clams: 

If not experienced, instructions are available on the internet. 

If uncomfortable, you can scrub whole clams with cold water.  Place whole clams on a rimed cookie sheet.  Freeze for about 3 hours.  Place tray on a counter.  Clams will open when they defrost. Save released juices.  Use a spoon to pry open.  Do not break shells in half.



​​​​​​​

Red Shrimp Sauce Made with Simple Cubed Tomatoes,
Flavored with Fresh Clam Broth (Pete’s Favorite Version) 
Red Shrimp sauce with pasta is one of our very favorite casual dishes.  We often serve as comfort food to closest friends and relatives.  Not necessarily an elegant meal to impress but simply to enjoy.

I wanted to create an even lighter version.  To my surprise, domestic diced tomatoes (i.e. Del Monte and Hunts diced) work incredibly well.  Tomatoes have a light tomato juice while tomatoes have a fresher taste, creating  a sauce without distractions.

Next is the addition of fresh clam juice.  Although I use bottled clam juice in my traditional sauce, it only offers a hint of fresh clam flavors.   It's nothing short of stunning how fresh shucked clams enhance the flavor of seafood sauces.

The sequence and techniques for cooking.  Also incorporate an abundant amount of olive oil, preferably "Pete’s Garlic oil". 
Ingredients:
Simple version Pete's Garlic Oil
  •  4 garlic cloves and 1 cup olive oil
Additional ingredients
  • 16 live cherry stone clams
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 pounds of large shrimp, 21 to 30 per pound, preferably with shells
  • 6 15-oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 or 4 5-inch stalks fresh basil leaves.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds of linguini or your favorite pasta
Earlier, remove course tips from garlic.  Don’t remove garlic skins.  Slice each in half lengthwise.  Place in a butter melting style pot with 1 cup olive oil.  Place pot on a burner over medium heat.  As the oil starts to simmer, reduce heat to lowest.  Garlic and oil is ready when skins are released, and garlic becomes tanned, softened, and sweet.  Remove skins.

Scrub clams to clean over running cold water.  Over a bowl shuck clams making sure all liquid and clams are captured.  Discard shells. 

Shake clams in their juice to remove any shell fragments.  Place in a clean bowl.  Pour clam juice into a strainer over the clams to also remove fragments.  Refrigerate clams and their juices. 

Peel and slice onion.  Sautee in about half of the garlic oil.  Remove when translucent making sure to liquid is dripped back into the pot.