Wish Upon A Dish: Seafood Pasta with Dill-Cream Sauce

April 29, 2013

Seafood Pasta with Dill-Cream Sauce


I found this recipe the other day from an old note card recipe file that I filled over 25 years ago. It's been fun going through the contents and gave me an insight into the dishes that intrigued me back then.

This dish is a loose translation of that recipe that apparently I made once to rave reviews and then never again (the story of my life).

Bay scallops are in season in November but due to cultivating there are times in the spring where they will release scallops for sale. When I can I always buy a pound or two, portion them off, and freeze them in small containers of water. This was the last of my stash and I am cooking them because I will be away on vacation and the 'use by' date falls while we are away.
Lucky for me. I am pairing the scallops with lobster surimi. Yes, the faux seafood. I like the taste of surimi, it's sweet and tender and the lobster version is a premium blend of wild caught, sustainable Alaska Pollock and real lobster meat. Certified by the American Heart Association, it is low in fat and cholesterol, a source of Omega-3 EPA and DHA, providing 100mg per 3 oz. serving. It's a good way to stretch a shellfish pasta dish which can be expensive certain times of the year, like now.

You can get a coupon here and combined with a sale in my market, I got a package for under $1.00.
No, I did not get a sample to post about, while researching the health benefits I got the link and thought I would share it with you. Any opinions about any foods I blog about are always mine, I am not for sale.

Let's get to the cooking. The most important part of this recipe is the court bouillon that the seafood will be poached in, and, is the whole flavor base for the sauce.

Instead of the onion, carrot, celery and water, you could use 2 cups of a good quality vegetable broth.
The original recipe called for an obscene amount of heavy cream (1 1/2 cups) and because this is supposed to be a heart healthy dish, I chose to omit the cream and used my secret weapon, pureed white beans to thicken the poaching liquid and fat-free evaporated skim milk & a touch of fat free half and half for the cream part. Was a marriage made in heaven.

This was quite yummy and you would never know it was a low fat, healthy, "creamy" seafood pasta.

Seafood on Pasta with Dill-Cream Sauce
makes 4 main course/6 appetizer servings

Court Bouillon
* 1 onion, sliced
* 1 carrot, chopped
* 2 stalks celery
* 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
* 1 tablespoon dill
* 1 bay leaf
* 4 whole peppercorn
* 2 cups cold water
* 1 cup white wine or clam juice or shrimp stock

Sauce
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1 tablespoons minced shallots
* 1 large clove garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup court bouillon + extra if needed
* 1/4 cup evaporated skim milk
* 2 tablespoons fat free half and half
* 2 tablespoons white bean puree
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* Black pepper to taste
* 2 teaspoons fresh dill or 1/2 teaspoon dried
* 1 cup pasta water

Pasta 
* 1 pound long flat pasta
* 1 pound bay scallops
* 1 package Lobster or Crab Surimi

1. Place all the court bouillon ingredients into a stockpot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Using a strainer or spider, lower seafood into court bouillon and let it sit for 2 minutes, remove to bowl.
3. Bring a large pot pf salted water to a boil.
4. In a large skillet, melt the butter and cook the shallots until softened, then add the garlic. When you smell the garlic, add the court bouillon and simmer till it reduces by half.
5. Add the white bean puree and whisk to blend. Add the milk and taste for seasoning.
6. Add the seafood back into the sauce and shut off the heat.
7. Drain the pasta reserving a cup of pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to coat with the sauce.
8. Turn the heat back on and toss until everything is heated through. If it gets too thick use the pasta water to loosen it up and more is better than less in this dish.
9. Spoon the pasta into a large bowl and serve immediately.

Review: You would swear this dish was loaded with heavy cream. It is creamy and luxurious. The seafood is sweet and the dill adds a nice herbal note. I will be using this sauce over and over, and not just for pasta. This would make a good base for Sausage & Grits or for Biscuits and Gravy. Totally healthy, no one will know you used pureed beans.

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1 comment :

John Cutler said...

Seafood Pasta with Dill-Cream Sauce is new for me thanks for sharing this recipe.

www.neworleansbarandgrill.com/food/seafood-pasta-2