Reminiscent of a Ligurian insalata di mare, this pasta with shellfish couldn't be easier to make.
The first time I improvised the dish, I grilled shrimp and squid on skewers, sliced them, and tossed them with the pasta, olive oil, and lemon juice. But, when I went to make it again and it was raining, I created an indoor version which was just as good, and eliminated an entire cooking appliance to boot.
This time, I boiled the the pasta in salted water, removed the cooked pasta, and cooked the sliced squid, shrimp, and bay scallops in the pasta water. Another attempt, which I won't repeat again, involved cooking and removing the shellfish before cooking the pasta. The dish tasted fine, but while the pasta cooked, there was an unpleasant foamy scum that kept rising to the surface.
The delicate bite-sized pieces of shellfish and sauce of olive oil and lemon juice really did remind of that insalata di mare. Maybe next time I'll toss in some cubed potatoes, as you would traditionally find served in the shellfish salad.
Ligurian Inspired Pasta With Shellfish
1 pound dry pasta (use a short shape like penne or orecchiette similar in size to the shellfish)
1 pound assorted shellfish (shrimp, squid, bay scallops to your liking)
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh chopped herbs of your choosing (e.g., basil, oregano, thyme, parsley)
Sea salt or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- Slice the shellfish into bite-size pieces: cut the squid into thin rings and the shrimp and scallops in half, depending on their size.
- Plunge the shellfish into the boiling water for a minute or two, until just cooked.
- Remove shellfish to serving bowl.
- Return water to a boil and cook the pasta.
- Drain pasta and toss with cooked shellfish, adding copious amounts of olive oil, the juice from 1/2 lemon, salt, pepper, and assorted fresh chopped herbs. Add more lemon, salt, and pepper to your liking.