Alex is a self-proclaimed Disney expert who enjoys expanding her culinary skills in her free time.
I absolutely love this dish. I cannot state that enough. If I could have it every night, I would in a heartbeat. Why do I love it so much? It tastes like it is from a fancy restaurant, is super simple to put together, and it combines my love of wine and seafood.
I live a few miles away from the Atlantic Ocean. Fresh seafood is not hard to come by. In fact the touristy parts of town are filled with restaurants offering fresh seafood at moderately ridiculous prices. This dish rivals those of even the best local seafood joints. Whats even better is I can make it at home in about 30 minutes for a fraction of the cost.
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Dinner for 2
- 1 package fresh linguini
- 3/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups white wine
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 pound scallops
- Fill a medium sized pot with water. Set the pot on a back burner and turn the burner to high.
- If the seafood is not already thawed begin to thaw now by places it in a bowl. Set the bowl in the sink under the facet. Set the facet to a trickle of cool water. Allow the water to flow until the seafood is thawed.
- In a heavy sauce pan heat the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted add the minced garlic and sauce until soft.
- Add in 1 cup of the white wine and increase the heat to medium high. Once the liquid comes to a boil add the remaining wine. Allow to boil for at least 10 minutes.
- While the sauce is boiling heat a little butter or olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the fat is hot, drain the seafood and add tot he pan. Cook the seafood on both sides until it is done. The shrimp will turn pink and the scallops will take on a white color and become more firm. If the seafood is done cooking before the sauce is ready remove it from the pan and set aside in a bowl.
- Once the 10 minutes is up reduce the heat to medium low. Add in freshly ground black pepper. When the liquid is no longer boiling slowly add the room temperature heavy cream and squeeze the lemon half over the sauce. Be careful not to get any lemon seeds in the sauce. Add salt and stir.
- Allow the sauce to simmer for 3-5 minutes. By now the water for the pasta should be boiling. Add the pasta to the water and cook for 3 minutes.
- Drain the pasta in a colander, then add it directly to the pan with the sauce. Using tongs, gently coat the pasta in the sauce. Once the pasta has an even coating add in the cooked seafood. Once fully mixed the meal is ready for plating.
Timing is very important for this recipe. You don't want your pasta finished cooking before the sauce is ready or it will cool off and can become gummy. The seafood can become rubbery if cooked for too long. And if you have the sauce simmer in the pan too long you can lose some of the liquid and then there may not be enough to fully coat the pasta and seafood.
There are a lot of different kinds of white wine. Which works best for this recipe? I have used Pinto Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc. They have a bright crispness to them that I really like. I found a few that have citrus notes, which pairs very nicely with the seafood.
I would stay away from resiling as they can be too sweet. A buttery chardonnay may be well suited for this sauce.
As always, if you wouldn't drink it don't cook with it.
As is, this is a fantastic dinner for two. If you are cooking for more people you will either need to double the recipe or add in additional items. You can add in oysters on the half shell as a first course. You can add in some steamed vegetables and garlic bread to go with the pasta. This dish also makes a perfect pairing with steak for surf and turf. In fact, that is what we had done for Valentines Day this last year. I nice ribeye and a side of delicious seafood pasta. Even adding in the steak we saved money as that meal would have easily been over $50 a person at a nice restaurant.
I always serve this with a glass of the same white wine I used to make the sauce. I typically enjoy a glass while I'm cooking and then there is just enough in the bottle left over for two glasses at dinner. It works out perfectly!
Your Pans Are Important
Keeping Cost Down
I know seafood is expensive. I've found that I can use frozen seafood for this meal and I can get several meals from one bag of shrimp and one bag of scallops. I even found langoustine lobster in the frozen section on a couple of occasions. A bag of all three easily lasted the two of use 7 weeks, with having a seafood dinner once weekly. Talk about bang for your buck!
Shrimp or scallops not your thing? That's perfectly fine. This sauce will be fantastic with just about any seafood. Clams, mussels, or even fresh fish fillets. If chicken is more your speed a baked or grilled chicken breast with lemon thyme seasoning would be perfect. As already mentioned this dish is great with steak. Simply pan fry a strip steak, cut into strips, and top over the plated pasta. Heck, you don't even need to add in an animal protein if you aren't feeling it, this sauce is good enough to stand on its own.
I once had forgotten to get heavy cream and I didn't realize it until I needed it for the sauce. In a moment of quick thinking I omitted the heavy cream, and instead added in old bay seasoning. I was left with a white wine, lemon, and old bay sauce. It was thinner than the original sauce, but the pasta soaked in a lot of liquid. It made the noodles so flavorful! So, how much old bay did I use? I'm not really sure since I just poured it in. But, I think it was most likely around 2 tablespoons. There was a definite kick to the final dish, but it was perfect for summer.
You cannot cut corners on the heavy cream on this dish. I have tried to use light cream and half and half to try to reduce the fat content and calories in the sauce. With both the light cream and the half and half the sauce just did not turn out. When the light cream or half and half was added they cuddled instantly. I tried waiting several minutes after the reduced white wine stopped boiling. I made sure the light cream and half and half were at room temperature before I added them. I even tried to temper the light cream by adding a little of the reduced white wine before I added it to the pan. Nothing worked. Each time I was left scrambling to create a new sauce before the noodles became a jumbled mess and the seafood became rubbery from over cooking.