Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Hello after a long weekend!  Tonight was my uncle’s last night with us before returning to Spain.  So of course, we had to have a big dinner to wish him a bon voyage.  But my mom was too tired to cook, and my grandmother had her chemotherapy today and wasn’t feeling up to it, so… Super-Pamela to the rescue!  Haha.. no, I offered mostly because it’s nice to cook when grandma will watch Lucas for me, so I can “just cook”.  I love it, it really is like a therapy to me.  So for tonight, in keeping with our fall theme, we have a Rigatoni with Squash and Prawns.  Well, it’s more like Rigatoni with Squash and Shrimp, since we had regular jumbo shrimp on hand.  This is a recipe I cannot take credit for; it was created by a chef I really love for healthful Italian cuisine, Giada de Laurentiis.  Here is the recipe with a few adjustments:

Rigatoni with Squash and Shrimp

3 tbsp olive oil, plus 3 tbsp
1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound large or jumbo shrimp
3/4 to 1 cup 2% or whole milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan


Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Saute until the squash is golden and tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the squash is very soft, another 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer the squash mixture to a blender or food processor and puree. *You can actually add some of your milk at this point, rather than all of it later, if you need some liquid to better puree your squash.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the shrimp with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook until just pink, about 3 minutes.

In a large pot over low heat combine the cooked pasta, pureed squash mixture, and 3/4 cup milk. Stir to combine. Add the remaining 1/4 cup milk if the sauce needs to be moistened.

Add the cooked shrimp, basil, and cheese. Stir until warm and serve.   Top with a little extra parmesan and basil.

Results:  An incredibly healthy and delicious dish!  The sauce is so creamy, and you actually feel like you’re eating something bad for you, but it’s not!  The combination of the sweet butternut squash with the bite of the pepper in the sauce as well as in the shrimp, along with the saltiness of the parmesan cheese is just delightful!  I doubled my recipe to feed my family of seven plus a toddler.  I got great reviews! 


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Ecuadorian Corvina is hard to come by, so when I found it a few months ago at my local Costco-we made sure to buy double, and froze one away.  This is an amazing, very non-fishy fish.. haha.. I always have to laugh when a fish is described as “unfishy” yet it actually fits this time 🙂  This recipe was actually born out of things I had in my fridge that I needed to use, so please know that you can use any vegetables you have, as long as the flavors don’t contradict each other.  Take it more as a guideline, and less like a strict recipe- you’ll have more fun with it!

Corvina (if hard to find, try Mahi Mahi) 4-6 fillets
16 oz can of garbanzo/chickpeas
half of a large sweet or yellow onion- diced
2-3 tsp herbs de provence (or mix in good dry herbs like oregano & thyme)
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 lb cubed butternut squash
1 lb of new potatoes
1 cup of sliced yellow squash
1 cup of grape tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
olive oil
2 tbsp of white wine or sherry
1/2 cup of beef or chicken broth
1 cup of flour
2 cups of fresh greens like baby spinach, arugula, or swiss chard


Begin buy heating a large with olive oil to med-high heat.  Sautee onions, add salt, pepper, and herbs until onions have softened and look translucent. 


Next, add the drained garbanzo beans. 







Next stir in the garlic and let it heat until its aroma releases.

Stir well, now add the potatoes and the butternut squash.  Allow some time to brown these a little, then add a 1/2 cup of beef broth and 1-2 tbsp of sherry or white wine.  Now cover the pot and let this simmer for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork.







Midway through the potatoes, add the tomatoes and yellow squash.







In the meantime heat another skillet with vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan.  I seasoned my fish with Lime-Pepper seasoning (a variation on lemon pepper that I really like, but use lemon-pepper if you have that) kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  I sliced my fillet into 3 portions, and dredged each of the pieces in the flour mixed with a tsp of salt, shaking off the excess.


These filets were about an 1.5 inches thick, so I pan fried them at med-high for about 5-6 minutes of each side, plus allowing them to brown on their actual “sides” for a minute or so as well.  So all 4 sides in my case.  If your fillets are thinner you may not have to do that.

Taste your vegetables and add any salt and pepper to taste. 

To Plate:

Take your greens (I used a mixture of baby spinach, arugula, and swiss chard) and toss with a squeeze of lemon, pinch of salt, and drizzle of olive oil.  Place about a cup full of your sauteed vegetables over the bed of greens, and lightly place your fish on top.  Before serving squeeze fresh lime juice over your fish, and serve with a wedge of lime.  My husband and son cleaned their plate!

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