Recipes That Perfectly Pair Seafood and Pasta

As great as they are on their own, pasta and seafood taste even better when paired together. The dynamic duo delivers bold and creamy dishes to your dinner table, which can be as healthy, hearty, rich, and elegant as you please. Serve lobster atop linguine, create a grown-up version of mac and cheese using crab, or combine several shellfish with bucatini for a gourmet dinner. Read on to determine which of these seven versatile seafood pasta recipes will take center stage at your next supper!

1. Seafood Pasta with Tuscan Hot Oil

seafood pasta

Seafood pasta | iStock.com

Why settle for only one shellfish when you can incorporate a myriad of them into your pasta? Food & Wine’s seafood pasta with Tuscan hot oil consists of shrimp, mussels, cockles, sea scallops, red snapper fillets, and squid, which are piled on top of bucatini and then coated in Tuscan hot oil, a combination of olive oil, parsley, red pepper, and sea salt. The recipe only requires 25 minutes of prep time and yields 6 servings.

Ingredients:

Tuscan Hot Oil:

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Seafood Pasta:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups tomato sauce, preferably homemade
  • ½ cup clam broth
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 pound cockles, scrubbed and rinsed
  • ½ pound sea scallops, quartered
  • ½ pound red snapper fillets, cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • ½ pound small squid, cut into ½-inch rings
  • 1 pound bucatini

Directions: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the parsley, crushed red pepper, and sea salt. In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, clam broth and 1½ tablespoons of the Tuscan hot oil and bring to a boil.

Add the shrimp, mussels, and cockles and cook, uncovered, until the shells are just beginning to open and the shrimp start to curl, about 2 minutes. Add the scallops and snapper and cook until the shells are nearly all opened and the fish is nearly cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add the squid and cook until opaque, about 1 minute. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the bucatini until al dente. Drain the pasta well. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and toss with the seafood and its sauce. Serve the pasta, passing the remaining Tuscan Hot Oil at the table for drizzling.

2. Linguine alla Lobster

Linguine alla lobster

Linguine alla lobster | iStock.com

Lobster tails and tomatoes combine with linguine in Eating Well’s recipe, creating a simple yet stunning dinner dish. This recipe may sound like a dieter’s worst nightmare, but in actuality, whole-wheat noodles, fresh seasonings, and lobster make it a healthy dinner option. Livestrong notes that one 6-ounce serving of lobster contains 28 grams of protein and only 1.2 grams of fat. In addition, it has key minerals needed for skeletal health, including phosphorus and calcium.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Few leaves fresh basil, optional
  • 2 (4- to 5-ounce) fresh or frozen cooked lobster tails, thawed if frozen
  • ¼ cup cognac or other brandy
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound whole-wheat linguine

Directions: Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add garlic and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, parsley, sugar, and basil. Simmer, uncovered, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, split lobster tails lengthwise with a sharp knife. Remove the meat, chop coarsely and add it to the sauce.

Simmer until the lobster is heated through, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in cognac and season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook linguine in boiling, salted water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large shallow bowl and toss with the lobster sauce. Serve immediately.

3. Crab Mac ‘n’ Cheese

boiling water

Boiling water for seafood pasta | iStock.com

Coastal Living puts a sophisticated spin on classic mac and cheese. Brie and Gruyère give this crab mac ‘n’ cheese a wonderful creaminess, while prosciutto, asparagus, baby peas, and crab add bright colors and vivid flavors. The recipe yields 6 entrée-size servings.

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces uncooked small pasta shells
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1- or 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen baby peas
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Brie cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab
  • ¼ cup chopped prosciutto (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ⅔ cup panko

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare pasta according to package directions, stirring in asparagus and peas during last 2 minutes of pasta cooking time; drain. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook 1 minute. Pour in milk; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 3 minutes or until sauce is smooth and thickened. Remove from heat.

Whisk in black pepper, cheeses, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss pasta with cheese sauce, vegetables, crab, and prosciutto. Spoon mixture into 6 (2-cup) greased ramekins, or a greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat; add garlic, and cook 1 minute. Stir in panko and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, tossing to coat. Sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture. Bake 40 minutes or until topping is crisp and sauce bubbles. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

4. Seafood Pasta with Mussels and Calamari

Seafood pasta with mussels and calamari

Seafood pasta with mussels and calamari | iStock.com

Calamari and mussels liven up linguine in Cook Smarts’ recipe. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to work with both shellfish, especially if you follow The Kitchn’s instructions for how to clean and debeard mussels. For a fun and unique dinner pairing, serve this dish with Tastebook’s cajun seafood garlic bread.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ pound calamari, sliced into rings
  • 1 pound mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 2 cloves garilc, minced
  • ½ bulb shallots, diced
  • ¼ bunch parsley, chopped
  • ½ pound linguine
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1½ teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained of liquid
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Directions: Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt generously and add linguine. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Drain. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then garlic, shallots, anchovy paste, and capers to heated oil. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and wine, and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Add mussels to pan. Cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes. Give the pan a shake before removing lid and folding in calamari. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until squid is cooked through. Toss with linguine and finish with lemon juice and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley.

5. Scallops with Orange and Honey

scallops

Scallops | iStock.com

Experience seafood pasta’s lighter side with Better Homes and Gardens’ scallops with orange and honey. Consisting of sea scallops, orange juice, tea leaves, honey, soy sauce, and egg noodles, this is a unique dish that will brighten your dinner table. Avoid overcooking your scallops, as it ruins their texture and flavor; Tablespoon’s tutorial shows you how to consistently prepare perfect-tasting scallops.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Keemun tea leaves or other Chinese black tea leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 6 ounces Chinese egg noodles, rice noodles, or angel hair pasta
  • Thinly sliced green onion
  • Cilantro sprigs, optional

Directions: Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add scallops. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until the scallops just turn opaque. Transfer scallops to a small bowl; cover and keep warm. Carefully pour orange juice into skillet, stirring to dislodge any particles adhering to pan. Add the tea leaves; cook and stir mixture for 30 seconds. Add honey, soy sauce, and any scallop liquid from the bowl.

Reduce heat; simmer for 3 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Cook Chinese noodles or pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside. Strain tea mixture through a fine mesh sieve; return liquid to the pan, discarding solids. Transfer scallops from bowl to pan with a slotted spoon; toss gently to coat with the sauce. To serve, arrange noodles into nests on four warm dinner plates. Top with scallops and sauce. Garnish with green onion and, if desired, cilantro sprigs.

6. Garganelli with Crab And Broccolini

broccolini

Broccolini | iStock.com

Sweet crab meat works well with broccolini’s subtly bitter flavors, and red pepper flakes, lemon, and sea salt add depth to Bon Appétit’s dish. The recipe, which yields four servings, calls for garganelli, but feel free to use any short pasta in its place. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large bunch broccolini or Chinese broccoli, about 8 ounces, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ pound garganelli or other short pasta
  • 8 ounces fresh crabmeat, picked over
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Chive blossoms, optional

Directions: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broccolini; season with kosher salt and black pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until broccolini is tender, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Add crabmeat, pasta, and ½ cup reserved pasta cooking liquid to skillet and toss to coat. Cook, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Squeeze lemon over pasta and serve sprinkled with sea salt and topped with chive blossoms, if desired.

7. Blackened Shrimp Stroganoff

Shrimp stroganoff

Shrimp stroganoff | iStock.com

Bold flavors abound in AllRecipes.com’s blackened shrimp stroganoff. If you’ve never peeled and deveined your own shrimp before, take a look at Food Network’s easy-to-follow tutorial before proceeding with this recipe, which yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 6 ounces fettuccine pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • ⅔ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers

Directions: Combine peeled shrimp, oil, and Cajun seasoning in a medium bowl. Set aside. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in a large frying pan. Cook and stir mushrooms and shallot in butter until tender. Remove from pan. Add shrimp, cook until shrimp turn pink about 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from pan. Add ⅔ cup chicken broth to pan, and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until reduced to ¼ cup. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream and cornstarch; mix in 1 cup chicken broth. Stir into reduced chicken broth in the frying pan. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Cook 1 minute more. Stir in shrimp, mushroom mixture, roasted red peppers, and capers. Heat through, and season to taste. Serve over pasta.

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