Italian cuisine: Seafood Linguine for Spring

Apr 20, 2024 1678

While Italians and Italian Americans both love pasta, one of the things that distinguishes each group is when and how we eat pasta. Most Italians still eat delicious and nutritious forms of pasta often, many daily at lunch.

Italian Americans, however, tend to associate pasta with Sunday Supper and dinnertime. The truth of the matter is, if you choose good quality pasta, cook it properly, and dress it with healthful ingredients, it can be a one dish meal that satisfies both the palate and the physique.

One of my favorite quotes about pasta is by William Somerset Maugham who said, “Of all of the simple things, the only thing that I can eat every day, not only without getting bored but with the eagerness of an appetite of unadulterated excess, is dried pasta.” Pastasciutta, or boxed pasta is what I turn to for pleasure and health, at lunch time.

For this reason, this month I chose to feature a good-for-you dish which combines al dente linguine with a fresh seafood and silky zucchini puree for a fresh springtime pasta dish that you’ll want to include in your repertoire all year long. This recipe is from the upcoming Diabetes Cookbook For Dummies which I cowrote with Dr. Simon Poole and is available on Amazon for release on April 23rd. Balanced in macronutrients and bursting with flavor, it’s the perfect lunch, Sunday Supper, or dinner for anyone wishing to transport their tastebuds to the Italian riviera.

Linguine with Seafood and Zucchini Cream Sauce 

*Recipe from the Diabetes Cookbook For Dummies available on Amazon. 

PREP TIME: 5 MIN

COOK TIME: 20 MIN

YIELD: 6 SERVINGS 

Ingredients       

  • 2 zucchini, washed and cut into halves and quarters
  • 1/4 cup Amy Riolo Selections or other good-quality extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 pounds mussels, scrubbed well, and debearded if necessary
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1/2 cup seafood stock, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt, if desired, for flavor
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges 

Directions 

  1. Place zucchini on a baking sheet and preheat broiler on high. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil over both sides of zucchini and top with cheese and black pepper. Broil for 2-3 minutes per side, watching carefully until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions, until very al dente (about 3 minutes less than if you were serving immediately). Drain, reserving a cup of cooking liquid.
  3. When zucchini is cool, place most of them in a blender, leaving a few pieces for garnish, and puree until smooth.
  4. While the linguine is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to release its aroma.
  5. Add the mussels, shrimp, and seafood stock. Cover and cook over medium heat until all the clams are open, approximately 2-3 minutes. Discard any broken or unopened clams.
  6. Add the linguine and zucchini cream to the seafood mixture and toss well with ¼ cup reserved pasta water. If “sauce” seems too thick, add additional pasta water, ¼ cup at a time, until you are happy with the consistency of the sauce. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to combine and the linguine to achieve desired tenderness.
  7. Toss with tongs to combine. Place pasta on a platter or individual plates and arrange clam shells around the pasta. Top with remaining zucchini pieces, parsley, and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

 

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