When you have to move in with your parents as an adult, there is no way of getting around being humbled. You do all of the things you never did when you were a teenager, like washing your laundry before it has a chance to pile up. You put your dishes in the dishwasher after breakfast, and offer to vacuum and go to the grocery store. Pretty much anything to distract your parents and yourself from the fact that, well, you live with them.
One of our favorite things to do to “help” is to cook dinner. Our family has always enjoyed big Sunday dinners, but I am usually perched at the counter having a glass of wine while my mom cooks. I have always viewed this as my break night, but for the next few months, it is going to be my mom’s turn to kick her legs up with a nice glass of wine.
However, tonight, I will be my husband Pete’s sous chef. Pete actually loves to cook when he has a Sunday afternoon to spare, and I desperately try to be patient, and not interfere or offer advice. Instead I throw pinches of this and that in while he isn’t looking, and then pretend I was just taking in the wonderful aroma.
The meal that he is making for tonight is something developed while I was in the throws of morning sickness about 6 weeks ago. I was having a small clearing of nausea, and found that I wanted some pasta. Pete said that he would make it, and I thought I would just “rest” on the couch while he went to work. Instead, poor love, I barked directions from my pile of pillows, while he chopped and mixed and slaved away over a pot of simmering seafood. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since I felt very little control over the whole process, but my darling husband sure showed me. It was a very simple, fresh and flavorful pasta that I have found myself craving several times since.
Below is the recipe for the pasta. We served this with baby arugula dressed with fruity Greek olive oil, lemon juice, and shavings of good Parmesan. We are ending the meal with a plum crisp. Now if I only didn’t have to do the dishes…
Lovely Seafood Pasta
-1 lb dried spaghetti
-1 finely chopped Red jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed
-1 Lemons zest
-1/2 small white onion, chopped
-4 cloves minced Garlic
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1lb Manilla clams
-1/4 lb picked Dungeness crab meat
-1/4 lb de-veined, peeled raw prawns, chopped into bite size pieces (so in half or thirds)
-1 cup freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
-1 fresh Lemon
-Kosher Salt and Pepper
1) First bring a big pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
2) This pasta is going to go really quickly, so don’t start cooking the sauce below until the pasta goes into the water.
3) Heat a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add about a Tbs of olive oil, and add the onion. Sprinkle the onions with kosher salt, and sweat about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and the chilis, and cook for 1 more minute.
4) Add the clams and the white wine, and cover the top of the pan tightly to steam. 2 minutes later remove the top from the pan, and most of the clams should be opened.
5) Add the prawns and the crabmeat, just to warm the crab, and cook the prawn pieces until just barely pink. Turn the heat off.
6) Meanwhile, test the pasta. You want to remove the pasta from the water while it is still al dente, or slightly hard and chewy. With dried pasta, this is usually at the 7-8 minute mark. Drain the pasta, but reserve about a cup of the pasta water.
7) Go back to the seafood, and add the lemon zest, flat leaf parsley, and generous amounts of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste).
8) Add the pasta to the pan, (if it isn’t big enough, then put the pasta back in the pot, and pour the seafood on top of it. Squeeze the lemon juice, and drizzle with olive oil, and toss to combine. You can add more salt or pepper or lemon juice to taste.
This is nice and light, and can be ready in 15 minutes!