A knockout dish of fresh clams and shrimp in a very light creamy sauce with linguine. Tastes like the best restaurant seafood pasta dish you’ve had but made at home, and probably even better!
This dish was actually made by my husband for our friends at one of our weekly game nights. He blew us away! This is the perfect package. An easy weeknight meal that doesn’t require too much culinary expertise but masquerades as a fancy over the top elegant pasta dish you’d only be able to find in fine dining Italian restaurants.
Our friends that he cooked this for had JUST returned from a two week trip to Italy and I kid you not, they declared this shrimp and clam pasta better than any seafood pasta they had on their trip. Complete win.
How to make shrimp and clam pasta?
There are several components to this recipe.
The sauce: A mixture of non-alcoholic white wine or green grape juice that you cook the clams in, milk, butter and flour to make a very light roux for a touch of creaminess. You can also substitute vegetable stock for the wine/juice, but the sauce will lose a bit of sweetness.
The seafood: We used two of our favorites, local clams and shrimps. The clams are steamed in the grape juice, and the shrimps are sautéed in a hot skillet.
To make sure you’re using only the good clams, discard any broken clams before cooking, and any clams that haven’t opened up after cooking.
I always get my fishmonger to de peel and clean my shrimp thoroughly to make my prep work easier.
The extras: Finely diced onions, garlic, mushrooms, and tomatoes. My mushroom hating husband couldn’t even detect the mushrooms in this dish but they offer great depth to the sauce. Your herbs are very simple- dried basil and paprika, but feel free to riff however you like.
The pasta: Have your pasta prepared and ready so you can toss it in with the sauce after it’s done. I use linguine or spaghetti, whatever I have on hand. You want some long thin noodles for maximum slurp-age. As always, I used whole wheat noodles.
Shrimp and Clam Pasta
- 500 g linguine or spaghetti pasta, cooked according to package instructions and drained
- 1 kg fresh clams (2 lb)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 6-8 white button mushrooms, finely diced
- 1 tomato, finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 400 g fresh shrimp, deveined and tail off (1 lb)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup non alcoholic white wine or white grape juice
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- handful fresh parsley, chopped for topping
- Wash clams under cold water. Throw away any cracked or open clams. Keep clams soaking in cold water until ready to use.
- In a large pan (one that comes with a lid), heat the butter over medium high heat. Add the diced onion, and garlic. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion has softened but not turned brown. Add the diced mushroom and saute for another few minutes. Add the tomato, salt, pepper, basil and paprika. Cook for another few minutes, then remove the mixture from the pan and keep aside in a small bowl.
- In the same pan, add your shrimp in a single layer. Salt and pepper the shrimp, and cook for 1-2 minutes until pink and opaque on the bottom, then flip over, salt and pepper this side, and cook for another 1-2 minutes until cooked through. Remove shrimp to a separate plate.
- Increase heat to high, and using the same pan, drain the clams and add them to the pan. Immediately add the white wine or grape juice and close the pan with a tight fitting lid. Allow clams to steam 7-8 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and throw away any clams which have not opened up. Remove the other clams and keep them aside, leaving the liquid in the pan.
- Let the liquid in the pan settle for a few minutes, then using a fine mesh strainer, strain the broth into a measuring cup (you are using a strainer to get rid of any sand or grain). Wash the pan to get rid of any sand, then put it back on the heat, turning it down to medium. Add the broth back into the clean pan.
- Add the butter and flour, and whisk until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the milk, and the cooked mushroom tomato mixture back to pan and whisk to combine. Sauce won't be very thick.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Add the cooked clams and prawns and stir lightly to incorporate into the pasta, keeping most on the top of the pasta. Top with chopped parsley to garnish.
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