I made a creamy seafood pasta at my most recent catering event. I was shooting for fresh and new but ended up in a nostalgic flavor that brought me straight to my childhood. One of the first seafood pastas I ate was one that my dad made. I think he used his Turkey a la King recipe or something similar to it to create the dense cream.
After looking around the net for a good seafood pasta, I decided to just make one for myself.
- 5 pounds of mussels
- 5 pounds of small clams
- 3 pounds of bay shrimp (the kind for Shrimp Louie)
- 4 pounds of scallops
- 2 bulbs of garlic (chopped)
- 3 large onions (diced)
- 1 pound of butter (unsweetened)
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 gallon whipping cream
- 1 gallon milk
- Salt & pepper
- 8 pounds dry noodles
- 4 red bell peppers (diced)
- 1 dry bay leaf
- Parsley for decoration/flavor
- Olive oil
Prepare the noodles according to the directions on the package and make sure not to overcook them.
In a separate large cooking vessel, heat a cup of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Make sure not to burn either or else you’ll have to start all over. Once the onions start to get translucent, add the mussels and clams. When they open up, about 10 minutes later, remove from pan and set aside (include the juices). Don’t worry too much about the unopened mussels/clams since we’ll be adding them back to the heat.
Add half a cup of olive oil to the pan and let it head up. Once it is heated, sear the scallops on both sides until brown. Cut the cooked scallops into bite sized pieces.
Add butter to the cooking vessel. Once butter is melted, add the flour. Mix the flour butter mixture to form a paste and keep mixing until it turns into a pale yellow. If this mixture turns brown/dark brown you’ll have to start all over.
Slowly add the whipping cream and milk to the flour/butter mixture and mix. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and let the mixture thicken. At this point, add the bay leaf while you wait for it to thicken. It might take a while for the mixture to thicken so keep an eye on it and keep mixing. You’ll want the mixture to be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon so a little thinner than gravy. At this point, add the shrimp. Also, add about 1 tablespoon salt & pepper. Make sure you taste and add more if needed. I’ve also sprinkled a dash of red pepper flakes for additional heat.
Now it’s time for assembly. I recommend you add small batches (mussels/clams mix, noodles, sauce) at a time to get everything mixed properly. Start off with some noodles, add the sauce, and add the mussel/clam mix. Repeat until all your ingredients are combined. Add fresh chopped parsley on top for decoration and flavor.
Notes: Cooking vessel? Normally, you’d use a tilting skillet but for home use this recipe will work in a roasting pan at least 16 inches with 2 inch walls. Noodles? I used spaghetti noodles.