How to Make Homemade Pasta & Cook Fresh Seafood

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What happens when you find yourself waking up, night after night, still dreaming of the chewy, homemade pasta and briny, freshly-caught seafood you had on your dream vacation to the Amalfi Coast?

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You re-create! :D

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Foodbuzz’s Project Food Blog Challenge #2 was to whip up another culture’s classic dish that would take you outside your culinary comfort zone to make. Always willing to take on a challenge, I scoured the city yesterday afternoon, hunting for the freshest seafood I could get my paws on.

My mission? To recreate my favorite dish from our entire Italian vacation. The dish that’s on every restaurant and household menu in the tiny, Mediterranean coastal town of Praiano, Italy, where we stayed. The dish that makes my mouth water and my taste buds sing – Pasta allo Scoglio. Seafood pasta, baby!

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FYI, I live in the Midwest where we grow corn so sweet they turn it into ice cream and pork’s so abundant they practically give it away. What we DON’T have, you see, is readily available, super-fresh seafood. Ie, my experience cooking with exotic seafood is zip. Zilch. Nada!

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Wanting to try and make the dish as authentic as possible, and take myself even further outside my comfort zone, I did what every Italian woman would do – I made my own pasta. You guys – it is SO much easier than I ever thought. Seriously! Check it out…

Homemade Pasta

Yield: 6 servings of 1/4 inch wide noodles.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 eggs

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Place flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center.

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2. Add eggs, extra virgin olive oil and salt into the well.

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3. Stir with a wooden spoon, gradually adding more and more flour, until the mixture is too thick to stir anymore. 

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4. With clean hands, knead the dough until it comes together into a rough ball, then turn it out onto a flat, floured surface. 

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5. Continue to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, or until it turns into a smooth, elastic ball. Add more flour to the board when necessary, to prevent sticking.

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Remember to have fun! ;)

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6. Cut the dough into thirds, then lightly flour the cutting board and a rolling pin.

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7. Roll the dough out, adding more flour when necessary, until it’s 1/8 inch thick.

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8. Smooth a tiny bit of flour over each side of the dough and roll up into a cigar shape.

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9. With a sharp knife, cut dough into desired noodle thickness.

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10. Roll noodles out and lay flat. Cook immediately in salted boiling water until the noodles rise to the top, ~1-2 minutes, or store in a tupperware container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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You can freeze any leftover noodles, too!

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Ok. Pasta? Check! Now for the seafood portion of the program. (Insert "eek!" here…)

I was lucky enough to find the most of the same delicacies that were in my Pasta allo Scoglio in Italy, here in town. We’ve got sea scallops,

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little neck clams,

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squid tubes (aka calamari,)

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fresh shrimp,

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and mussels!

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Can I just tell you incredibly odd it is to hold something in your hand knowing that it’s alive, and you’re about to cook it?! Ie, cleaning the mussels and clams was seriously. freaky!

I pushed all thoughts aside, laid out my seafood, heated up the stove, and got to work…

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Pasta allo Scoglio

Based on a recipe from Bacco Ristorante. Yield: 1 serving.

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 sea scallops

2 large, peeled & deveined shrimp

4 little neck clams, scrubbed

4 mussels, scrubbed

1 squid tube, cut into rings

1/3 cup white wine

1/3 cup marinara sauce

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned. About 30 seconds.

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2. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add scallops to the pan. Sear on one side until golden brown. Flip and add the rest of the seafood.

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3. Cook seafood for 30 seconds, then add white wine and marinara sauce. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the clams & mussels have opened. NOTE: Do not try to pry open and eat the clams or mussels that do not open. They are inedible.

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4. Push the seafood to one side of the pan and add a serving of homemade pasta, cooked until it’s a little underdone, to the empty side of the pan. Allow the pasta to continue cooking in the sauce until it’s cooked through.

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5. Serve immediately, topped with chopped parsley.

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Omg, it freaking worked!!

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The scallops tasted ocean-fresh, the squid was tender, the pasta actually tasted like real pasta, and the mussels opened!! Ok…the clams didn’t. You can’t win ‘em all, I guess. ;)

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The sauce was so complimentary too. Really light and definitely not overpowering the taste of the fresh seafood.

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The wonderful thing about Italian cooking is that, while it may seem intimidating, the ingredients are fresh and uncomplicated. The whole thing, not counting making the pasta, took me less than 10 minutes to create. Score!

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Comfort zone = re-zoned. Mission = accomplished! :mrgreen:

Have a great night you guys!

~~~~~

What foods are you intimidated to cook with?

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Comments

  1. Exercise and Eat 09.26.2010

    That looks like a beautiful dish! Sadly, I’m allergic to shellfish…

  2. Kerstin 09.26.2010

    Awesome entry – I still want to make homemade pasta! And I love making meals inspired by trips :)

  3. Erica 09.26.2010

    You are brave! And it really doesn’t look that hard. Where did you find all of your ingredients? I live in a small town in northeast Iowa and don’t think I’d ever be able to cook that, unless say I was driving home from Minneapolis or Des Moines or something! :-)

  4. AJ 09.26.2010

    Wow! Your Italian dish would be outside my comfort zone. I’ve never cooked with mussels or clams, and I have never made pasta from scratch.

    I am pretty much intimidated to cook with any ingredient that I have never used before. I’m trying to get more experimental.

  5. Wow! I am hit and miss with seafood, but that actually looks amazing! I might have to attempt something similar, though possibly with less types of seafood. I don’t know if I’m that brave!

    I’ve been able to make every dish that I’ve wanted to so far. I haven’t been extremely bold just yet though with experimenting (recipe girl here). I’m sure my time will come where I get something on the mind that I just won’t successfully make. I dread that day!

  6. Melanie 09.26.2010

    I am definitely inspired by this recipe! I never cooked with seafood in Iowa, either, but now that I live on the east coast, my fiance has been hinting that we should take advantage of the fresh seafood that is everywhere to be seen! I’ve been too intimidated to even try, since his mom is Spanish and he grew up with homemade paella and other amazing things, but now I think I’m going to give it a shot! The fresh pasta also looks delicious! :)

  7. Susie 09.26.2010

    I love that you put in there “with clean hands”. Hee hee…

  8. Liz @ Blog is the New Black 09.26.2010

    I’m so impressed with your pasta skills. I don’t eat seafood but your dish looks impressive! Good luck! :)

  9. I can just about smell and taste that dish… it’s gorgeous, and I’ll bet it tasted every bit as delicious as I can imagine. Here’s to you being readers’ choice for round two!! That is, if it can’t be me :)

  10. Hannah Mize 09.26.2010

    My husband found you on Twitter and recommended me to your site. I am now a follower and have had fun seeing what you are up too. I, too, am very intimidated by seafood. We live in central Texas, so it is more readily available than Iowa, but we are still around 7-8 hours from the coast. You have inspired me! I might have to try it. Thanks for the pasta recipe.

  11. WOW!! That’s quite a meal! It looks awesome. :)

  12. YUM! Hey, where did you get your seafood at? It looks so good. I used to live in Florida and was spoiled by fresh shrimp, tuna, well, any seafood, and now that I am back in Iowa I am too nervous to buy any and make it at home.

  13. Katie 09.26.2010

    Wow that looks AMAZING! I am very impressed, especially with the home-made pasta. I’ve tried to make pasta before and it failed miserably, but this has made me want to try again. Nice work, and I love the step-by-step photos, will make it easy to follow along when I try the pasta recipe. :)

  14. That looks so mouth-wateringly delish! I’m really intimidated by a lot of foods…..I’ve kinda just started this new chapter of my life called “cooking” :). But, I’m looking forward to the fun it brings!

  15. wow, i am so impressed! great job :)

  16. Tina 09.26.2010

    I’m always so nervous when it comes to cooking with seafood too. You make it seem doable though. Great recipe!

  17. Lauren 09.26.2010

    YOU GO GIRL!!!!! This is incredible. I’ve only made my own pasta once, but it was extremely time consuming and way too much work. The effort you put into this entry is sure to put you in round 3. Good luck, you always have my vote. :)

  18. dmcgirl 09.26.2010

    This is a winner!!!! OMG… fantastic! You did rock this!

  19. Angharad 09.26.2010

    I am beyond impressed! That looks delicious…I would also be terrified of the live seafood – eeeek!

  20. Teresa 09.26.2010

    Looks amazing! Where did you find the fresh seafood? My hubby & I have been wanting to cook more seafood, but the frozen stuff doesn’t look appealing to us. Good luck with Round 2.

  21. Wow… you go girl! That sounds amazing!

  22. jad18 09.26.2010

    Wow, this is beautiful and looks yummy. I am intimidated by making seafood dishes (other than baked salmon).

  23. Emily 09.26.2010

    Bravo!! The dish looks amazing! And congrats on successfully making homemade pasta. I did it at home last month for the first time (with a Kitchen Aid extension). It took a little while but it was INCREDIBLE. Definitely worth the effort! good luck on this next round :)

  24. Charity 09.26.2010

    I have always wanted to make homemade pasta but have been too scared to try. I think I might have to give it a go.

    My husband and I love sushi. I have actually tried making it before and have been mildly successful.

  25. Clare 09.26.2010

    Looks AMAZING! I love that dish but would never have the courage to make it! But good seafood is hard to come by for us midwestern girls:)

  26. colleen 09.26.2010

    WOW. Homemade pasta – s’thing I haven’t tried but would love to. Same for the seafood minus the shrimp. I don’t even have an excuse – lived 4.5 years on the coast of NC.

  27. Maranda 09.26.2010

    Awesome!!! Great job lady! The dish looks delicious! And now I finally know how to make homemade pasta!!!

  28. Leesh 09.26.2010

    The noodles you made look amazing. I am more amazed at the noodles than the seafood (and I love seafood). Good job on the re-creation.

  29. “OMG, It worked!” – haha! What an impressive looking dish! Girl, I’m in awe! I want so badly to make my own pasta…it’ll happen sooner or later!

  30. Daisy 09.26.2010

    incredible job!

  31. Brynne 09.26.2010

    You made your own pasta. You’re my hero.

  32. Randi 09.27.2010

    Wow, that looks amazing! Oh, now you’re making me miss Italy! :) I haven’t made fresh pasta since I was little girl and I helped my mother make homemade egg noodles. I’ve been to scared to try! But I may be up to the challenge now. By the way, where did you get the seafood? I’m on the eastern edge of Iowa. :)

  33. Michelle 09.27.2010

    Looks delish! Great job!

  34. Sara 09.27.2010

    WOW! I’m seriously impressed – that dish looks awesome! Can you come cook for me? ;-)

    I’m intimidated by yeast. Lame, right?

  35. Jenni 09.27.2010

    Gorgeous dish! And clams have a reputation of not playing well with others. They probably didn’t open just to be difficult. Stupid clams. :)

    Best of luck in Round 2–looking forward to voting!!

  36. Angie 09.27.2010

    Absolutely beautiful dish! And, your photos from your Italian vacation are amazing…I had the chance to visit Italy in 2003, but I am literally dreaming at night about going back. Thanks for sharing some amazing memories!

    Congrats on the Readers Choice win in PFB Round 1! Best of luck in Round 2. This is a great post!

  37. […] Iowa Girl Eats’ Fresh Pasta and Seafood […]

  38. […] Comments « How to Make Homemade Pasta & Cook Fresh Seafood […]

  39. Christy 09.27.2010

    Where did you find your seafood in DM? I generally purchase from Waterfront, but didn’t know if anywhere else has good fresh seafood…looks Delish!

  40. liz 09.27.2010

    I have to say that dish looks incredible! When I saw what you were gonna be making it sounded intimidating, but you made it seem so simple. I definitely want to try this! Where did you buy the seafood?

  41. Teresa 09.27.2010

    Wow – I’m impressed – that’s awesome!

  42. lindsay 09.27.2010

    I’ve always been a little iffy about homemade pasta – everything else I am all over. But after seeing this, I think I might just take the plunge! Next Monday, it’s you and me, pasta.

  43. @lickmyspoon 09.28.2010

    The Mediterranean is responsible for such great cuisines, and you’ve re-created it perfectly. Can’t wait to see what’s in store, you’ve got my vote! Also, sweet corn ice cream is amazing.

    Lick My Spoon

  44. Amy 09.28.2010

    Originally born in Iowa, I came across your site the other day. I am very proud of you for attempting to cook fresh seafood in Iowa, given that you’re halfway between both coasts. The meal looks absolutely fabulous and amazing! Thankfully, I live in San Francisco where we get lots of lots of yummy seafood. This week I made fresh halibut and last week I made fresh snapper papillottes(?) with fresh cherry tomatoes and lemon zest. A little bit of lemon zest can completely make any seafood dish spectacular!

  45. Peggy 09.29.2010

    You’re quite brave to do an Italian dish for this challenge! Good luck!

  46. themilkmanswife 09.29.2010

    Beautiful! As a fellow Iowa girl, I hear ya on being intimidated about cooking with fresh seafood! This looks so wonderful, you’ve inspired me to try it soon. And you’ve got my vote. :)

  47. […] Girl Eats recreates the fresh seafood pasta she recently enjoyed in […]

  48. […] let’s see here… We learned my stance as a food blogger in Challenge #1 and how to make homemade pasta and Pasta allo Scoglio in Challenge #2. Challenge #3? Host a luxury dinner […]

  49. […] passed, we turned to the prepping of the tails. I’ve already confessed that prior to cooking Pasta allo Scoglio, my experience with cooking exotic seafood was basically […]

  50. […] comes from far and wide. From other bloggers and food websites, to meals I’ve had on vacation, and what’s on sale at the grocery store or in season at the Farmers’ Market at the […]

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