Seafood and pasta salad

Seafood and pasta salad

By
From
Margaret Fulton Favourites
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

If you live in Sydney on the beautiful harbour as I do, you will know how exciting it is to enjoy a sunny day on the deck with friends, relaxing, eating, drinking, enjoying lively conversation and watching the passing boats. For years now I have risen early on a Sunday morning and headed for the fish markets. As I have never been big on barbecues, what I have become good at is preparing fresh seafood, cooking and combining it with pasta and a great dressing, then serving it all with a loaf of crusty bread and a glass of crisp wine.

This seafood and pasta salad changes from time to time, depending on what is available at the fish markets. When I’m very busy, I often buy the seafood ready prepared or make a similar salad of pasta, canned fish such as tuna, hard-boiled eggs, anchovies, black olives and greens. The essence of this dish lies in the freshness of the seafood and the quality of the pasta.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g green or cooked prawns, shelled and deveined
250g scallops
500g small mussels
400g small calamari tubes
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons snipped chives
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon or roughly torn basil leaves
1/2 cup light olive oil
500g fresh green tagliatelle, linguine or fettuccine
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g snow peas or asparagus tips, lightly cooked and cooled
1 small red chilli, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped herbs such as flat-leaf parsley, basil, chives or chervil, to garnish

Method

  1. Prepare and cook the fresh seafood. Combine the cooked seafood in a large bowl. In the bowl of a food processor, process the lemon rind and juice, salt and pepper, chives, mustard and tarragon or basil until well mixed. With the motor still running, gradually add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream to make a thick creamy dressing. Add 3 tablespoons of the dressing to the seafood and toss.
  2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, which means firm to the bite, then drain thoroughly. While still warm toss through the tablespoon of oil with forks or by hand.
  3. Toss the pasta with the seafood — reserving some seafood for the garnish — snow peas or asparagus and remaining dressing. Turn onto a serving platter and garnish with slivers of red chilli and the reserved seafood. Garnish with chopped herbs.

To prepare and cook the seafood

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. If using green prawns, drop them into a large pot of boiling salted water on high heat. Stir until the prawns take on a pink tinge, then reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain, shell and devein the prawns. The tails can be left on for decorative effect.
  2. To cook scallops, rinse and remove any brown bits, then poach gently in salted water for about 2 minutes. Drain and cool.
  3. Scrub mussels thoroughly in plenty of water, tug off any seaweed and beards and rinse thoroughly. If possible, leave them to soak for an hour or so in cold water, enough to cover. Then place the mussels in a large saucepan with 1⁄2 cup of water
  4. over a high heat and steam, covered, shaking the pan occasionally, for 4–6 minutes or until the shells have opened. The moment they are all open put the pan aside to cool a little. When cool enough remove the mussels from their shells.
  5. To prepare calamari, squeeze out the ink and quills from the tubes and wash the calamari very thoroughly in cold water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the flaps and tentacles from the tubes and slice the tubes into thin rings. Trim the base of the tentacles from the heads and wash. Pat the rings, flaps and tentacles dry with paper towels. Heat 1–2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-based frying pan and when very hot quickly sauté the calamari for a few minutes, until the colour just changes.
Tags:
Margaret
Fulton
Favourites
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