Seafood pasta

This is a simple and tasty dish, and I would also encourage everyone to have a go at making their own pasta. You only need two ingredients for basic pasta; flour and eggs. You can then make different variations with tomato purée, spinach or even squid ink if you’re feeling adventurous. For this recipe I used tomato purée. The octopus I use is already cooked (steamed in it’s juices), so it doesn’t require much additional cooking.

Serves 3
250g flour, preferably fine 00 grade pasta flour
2 eggs
1 tbsp tomato purée
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200g cherry tomatoes
juice of one lemon, or 2 tbsp.
1 courgette / zucchini
25g bunch or parsley, chopped
2 octopus tentacles, about 225g
90g small scallops
1-2 squids, about 150g, thinly sliced
150g raw king prawns
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt, to taste
coarsely ground black pepper

 

1. Measure the flour in a bowl. I used fine 00 grade pasta flour, but I have also in the past used normal plain flour. Make a well in the centre, and tip the eggs in. Start mixing the eggs with a fork, slowly incorporating the surrounding flour into the eggs. When it gets quite firm, I find it’s difficult to continue mixing with the fork, so I change to kneading by hand. Even though I use large eggs, I don’t tend to use all of the flour. Keep the dough soft, but not sticky.

2. I wanted to make tomato pasta today. For this, warm the purée in a pan, and once you’re happy with your standard dough, knead it into the dough. To make it easier to mix it into the dough, make sure your workstation has flour on it.

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3. I would recommend investing on a pasta rolling machine. At a low cost you will get a useful helper to your kitchen for pasta making. Cut the pasta dough into four pieces, and repeat the steps with all of the pieces. Flatten the piece into about 1cm / half an inch thickness. Set your machine on the biggest setting (7). Push the end of the piece right onto the rollers, and roll. The piece should now go through. Once the dough has come out, fold in half, and put through the same setting again. After this, reduce the setting to 6, and roll through once, then same with settings 5,4 and 3.

 

4. With floured hands, pat the pasta sheet on both sides. Then, roll the sheet through the tagliatelle roller. Separate the tagliatelle strands, and place on a baking sheet. Once you have prepared all dough pieces this way, leave to dry while you prepare the seafood sauce.

 

5. Finely chop the shallots and garlic, and fry in olive oil for 1-2 minutes.

6. Add the squid and king prawns, and fry for about 3 minutes. Then add the small scallops, and fry for another 3-4 minutes, stirring. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Add the courgettes to the pan, and fry, stirring, for 2 minutes. Pour the lemon juice into the pan.

8. Add the octopus and tomatoes, and heat through.

9. Tip the chopped parsley into the pan, and stir.

10. Boil water in a large pan, with a good splash of salt. Add the pasta into the boiling water. The fresh pasta will only need to cook for 3 minutes. Strain, and add to the seafood sauce.

Hake with scallop, brown shrimp and samphire

When I planned for this dish, I didn’t have anything in particular in mind. I chose hake because I try to alternate fish I use. I normally use smoked hake and make the same dish with it, so it was perfect time to experiment with unsmoked and cook it like I would normally cook cod, pan fried. For the accompaniment, I was just browsing throught the seafood section (I do my food shopping online and have it delivered, to save my precious time after work), and when I saw the small scallops and brown shrimps they sang out to me, wanting to be part of this dish. My husband would like me to get samphire more often than I do, so I decided to get that too. This recipe makes big portions, so you could probably also make this for 3, maybe even 4 people. I had some leftover puy lentils and quinoa, so I served the fish with that.

serves 2
400g fillet of unsmoked hake, cut in two pieces
70g brown shrimp
180g small scallops
90g samphire, washed
2 shallots
50g butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 dl frozen peas
1/2 dl cream
salt
white pepper

1. Melt the butter in a frying pan, and add the hake fillet pieces. Season both sides with a little bit of salt and pepper, and fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Move to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

2. Add finely chopped shallots to the same pan, fry for a minute or two, and add the scallops and lemon juice. Fry for few minutes, stirring.

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3. Add the peas, followed by samphire and shrimp. Season with a dash of pepper. You probably won’t need much salt, as the samphire itself is quite salty. Fry, stirring, for couple of minutes,  until all ingredients are warmed through.

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4. Add the cream, and warm through.