Sunday, April 3, 2016

An Ozark Spring Day - Mediterranean Style

One of the marvels of our modern world is how trade has changed. What used to be unavailable one place has become available. For example, only ten years ago, if you went to the seafood section of the freezer case of a grocery in the Ozarks, you found a frozen shrimp ring and your choice of several brands of catfish nuggets or hushpuppies. Not so today.

Today I found small trays of frozen fishes from the Mediterranean. The trays contained chopped squid, baby clams, mussels, and Langostino pieces. I was inspired to try a one pot meal based on this find.


8 ounces of mixed seafood varieties (mussels, clams, shrimp, squid, or octopus)
16 ounces of linguini or interesting pasta such as flowers
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
a double handful of baby spinach leaves
4 large shallots, halved and thinly sliced
2 ounces of dry white wine
oregano, basil, thyme, chives, crushed red pepper, and salt to taste
good virgin olive oil


Bring 5 quarts of well salted water to a boil in a pasta pot. Cover it and let it sit for future use.

Heat 2 to 3 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in the bottom of a dutch oven to the shimmer stage. 
Add the shallots and spices and stir well as the oil cools and the onions begin to cook. 
When the shallots are translucent, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Then add the white wine and the tomatoes.
Turn the water back to high and bring to a boil. Add the pasta.
Cook the tomatoes as the water reheats, about five minutes.
Add the seafood and the spinach and turn the heat to low. Simmer while the pasta cooks.
When the pasta reaches very al dente, remove it from the water and reserve a half cup of the pasta water.
Add the pasta to the seafood mixture and stir well. Add the pasta water. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Allow the pasta to finish cooking in the juices for five minutes
Plate the pasta and garnish with fresh grated Parmesan or Romano and minced chives or parsley.

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