Seafood Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce
A quick and dirty recipe that I love to use whenever I am short of time to cook, is none other than spaghetti. There are so many permutation of recipes that I could think of with just so few ingredients. It is the technique that is most important when cooking pasta, not so much the choice of ingredients. Of course, if you have fresh ingredients, then that makes for an even better pasta experience.
I usually do this lovely Italian styled recipe with a little Singaporean twist to it. It is not al dente but you could make it that if you wanted to. I cook for my family, and that means my toddler needs to be able to eat it and enjoy it. So I do the Singaporean thing which is to make the pasta softer than usual, and very soupy with lots of sauce. You may not like my style of pasta. But my family loves it and that’s all that matters.
So I got home really late this evening, and it didn’t help that the taxi driver tried to be a know-it-all race car driver. He was speeding, taking sharp turns and slamming the brakes all throughout the journey back. By the time I got back, I was near exhausted and almost collapsed. It was really tough.
Plus I promised the family that I would make the most fantabulous pasta in the world. But I was really zoned out and feeling like crap. It doesn’t help that I have motion sickness and that basically worsened my dizziness. It took me longer than usual to recover this time around, but when I managed to overcome the sickness, I jumped straight into the kitchen.
I like my pasta in a certain way, so this recipe had a moderate difficulty rating as compared to my even quicker and dirtier soups that I make every morning. So if you’re ready, let’s get down to it.
half a packet of Barilla brand Spaghetti (cooks in about 8 minutes al dente, but I usually cook them in about 11 minutes)
8 large Prawns (these are slightly greenish in colour)
8 large Scallops (defrosted)
a can of Narcissus Button Mushrooms (small can will do)
a can of Hunt’s Whole Tomato Sauce
a bottle of Leggos’ Tomato Paste (you can use any brand of sauce or paste, it doesn’t really matter)
1. Firstly boil the pasta in a pot of water with a dash of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Boil for about 11 minutes (or longer if you are cooking for kids). After cooking, drain and add some olive oil to prevent it from becoming dry and clumpy. You may wish to douse it in ice cold water to stop the cooking so that the noodles are still firm.
2. Then add butter into the frying pan, with a little olive oil and sauté the button mushrooms. Add a little black pepper and sea salt. Stir fry until the mushrooms sear and shrink down in size. Then add the prawns to cook together with the mushrooms. Keep the heat moderate, and when the prawns start to curl up into the shape of a letter “C”, that is the sign that the prawns are “cooked”. If you don’t watch over this process carefully, what will happen is the prawns will continue curling and will eventually form an “O” shape. That basically means the prawns are now “Overcooked”. Simple tip.
3. Reserve the prawns and mushrooms into their individual plates. Now to cook the scallops. Add some butter, and olive oil to a new pan (if need be, wash the pan that you’re using) and turn the heat to a moderate level. Stir fry the scallops and also allow them to sear on both sides. You want to add a little salt so that they will taste a little better. Now with the scallops, it can be a little tricky, if you fry too long, it dries up too quickly. If you don’t cook it well enough, it may not taste as fantastic. This one requires some skill, and there are not many visible cues like “C” or “O” to help you along. So I will say – use the force.
4. After the scallops are done, place them in their plates and you can now add the pasta into the pan. By now they would be a little dry, and so you would need some water. You may add whatever water that you reserve before pouring out the pot (that you cooked the pasta in). Now the part that I like the most, preparing the tomato sauce.
5. I use a combination of tomato paste and tomato sauce (I don’t mean Maggi Tomato Sauce, but the real tomato sauce with real tomatoes in the can). Pour the sauce into the pasta, and add two tablespoons of tomato paste and stir. Add a little salt and black pepper and continue to cook. Break up the whole tomatoes and combine the paste into the sauce. Mix well.
6. Once it is ready, using a pair of food tongs, serve the pasta onto the plates with the rest of the ingredients. Typically I wouldn’t cook it this way, but it is my quick and dirty recipe. I usually would use a lot of garlic in my cooking, but I used up all my garlic making the Bak Kut Teh yesterday. Sprinkle a little thyme or basil leaves if you have them. Delicious.