Cupboard Supper: Seafood Spaghetti

Spring is the season for asparagus, spring onions and peas. I love them all served together with spaghetti and garlic and lots of butter. This recipe can be made from stuff in your pantry other than the scallions. You could use red onion or shallots in place of the green onion but it wouldn’t be the same.

This is the only seafood and pasta dish where I grate cheese on top; normally taboo – considered not a good combination but it works fantastically in this fast to throw together entrée.  This meal is visually appealing with the greens and the white.  I have been making variations of it for many years.  This is one of my favorite versions.  Great flavor and so speedy to make; how fast can you get the water boiling and cook the pasta?  That is how long it takes to create a great meal in one fantastic dish.

Yes, I make it with gf pasta.  Use the brand you love, don’t overcook it; barely done is best.  I made it for years and years with regular pasta before I had to go gluten free.  The original recipe didn’t have the asparagus and peas; my addition.  Good no matter what veggies you add; just don’t take away any of the basic ingredients.

Try to use tuna packed in olive oil; makes all the difference, especially for Italian dishes, much better flavor than any other kind of tuna. Giant carries it as does Wegmans. If you totally hate tuna you could use half a pound of small cooked shrimp. Ditto on using real butter, margarine will ruin the flavor for sure.  And I really love the greens; especially the onions; buy scallions if you can’t find spring onions.  I always cook the white parts a few minutes but the green tops can be close to raw. Better that way than overcooked. Last but not least by any means, use the real deal for your parmesan cheese, that shreddy stuff in the jar is not gf a lot of the time and the flavor is sad when compared to a chunk you just grated on your pasta. You can thank me after you taste this masterpiece!

Seafood Spaghetti with Greens

Ingredients

1 package of gf spaghetti

½ stick of butter

6-10 spears of asparagus

½ cup fresh snap peas, cut in half (frozen oetite peas are fine)

1 can light tuna packed in olive oil

1 can diced clams

1 bundle scallions or spring onions

1 big garlic clove

Directions: Boil a big pot of salted water, add the entire box of spaghetti; usually 12 oz size in gf.  Cook stirring often until barely done.  Drain.  While it cooks make the rest of the dish.

Veggie Prep: I like to snap the asparagus into manageable lengths; like 1 ½ inches long.  Ditch the tough ends. Cut the peas in half, cut the spring onions into ¼ inch rounds. If using frozen peas add in the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Melt 3 tbsp. of the butter in a big saucepan.  I use my mini wok. Add the veggies, cook a minute, and add the garlic pressed or minced.  Stir and cook another minute.  Throw in the white part of the onions; add the tuna and clams with ALL the juices and olive oil in the tuna can.  Stir gently and cook a minute.  Toss in the green parts of the scallions and the cooked hot pasta.  Stir a bit.  Add 1 tbsp. more butter if you dare and up to a quarter cup of pasta water to moisten the pasta.  It is really not a wet sauce; the stuff should cling to the strands of spaghetti.

Serve and top each portion with a healthy amount of finely grated real parmesan cheese.   Should serve four but if you are piggy only serves 3! seafood spagetti on plate

+++++++++++++ Variation for those with a garden +++++++++++++

Yes, you can eat kale flower buds, a lot like broccolini.  I sometimes blanch them in hot water before sauteing with olive oil and garlic.

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These pictures above show my latest and quite yummy variation: I quick sizzled unopened kale flower buds from my last year’s plants and topped the finished pasta dish with it; really nice and I am guessing this kale option is quite good for your health

Originally posted May 2015.

Buckwheat Gnocchi with Clams and Rabe

Anyone who eats at my house knows my deep love of authentic Italian food.  I love many different dishes from spaghetti with meatballs to risotto to homemade pasta and sauce.  This post is about gnocchi. Specifically gnocchi made with ricotta cheese rather than potato.  I love their delicate flavor, light texture and how much easier they are to make than the potato version. I make plain ones with rice flour and will share that recipe some other post. Just don’t ask me how to pronounce gnocchi!

These are buckwheat gnocchi and are served with clams and broccoli rabe.  Yeah buckwheat.  No wheat in it; buckwheat is a relative of rhubarb and it has a homey or earthy flavor that somehow matches perfectly with the clams and bitter greens.  I have been making this dish for more than ten years; gf the past five years.  It is a traditional spring dish at my house and much loved by my daughter. Not that tricky, I promise you can make it, no fancy pasta machine required. No long process.  Roll, cut, press with fork and briefly boil.

It is a spring dish as broccoli rabe is best right now, bright green, snappy flavor and so good for you.  I cook it a few minutes in boiling water before draining and sautéing briefly in olive oil and garlic. Yumm!

You could use fresh clams but I never bother; if you do – please get tiny ones and save a bit of the cooking water to add to the sauce.  If you want to make it not gf; just use all purpose flour for the white rice flour. Most grocery stores now carry buckwheat flour; store the bag in your freezer please so it keeps longer.

giant muffin and buckwheat gnocchi 010

Buckwheat Gnocchi with Clams and Rabe

For the gnocchi

1/3 cup buckwheat flour mixed with

½ cup white rice flour or any blend

1 15 ounce jar of ricotta (whole milk is best but I have used the part skim successfully)

¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese; fine grater side

1 ½ tsp. sea salt

Sauce:

1 lb broccoli rabe

1 large can tiny whole clams or 2 small cans chopped/minced clams

¼ cup EVOL

2 garlic cloves minced

1 tbsp. butter

Salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions: Heat a big pot of salted water.  While it heats, rinse the broccoli rabe and remove any yellowed leaves.  Cut the very bottom of the stems off and discard.  Cut the stems into 1 inch lengths. Do the same for the rest of the rabe; I set aside the stems and cook them one minute extra.  Throw the rabe stems in the boiling water, cook one minute and add the rest.  Cook maybe 3 more minutes; you don’t want it overcooked but not firm either; you will cook it a bit more lat er.  Drain and set aside.

Mix all the gnocchi ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Turn out onto a rice floured bread board, knead briefly to form a dough. Do not add a lot of flour or your gnocchi will not be light and pillowy. Take a half cup or so at a time and roll it out on a rice flour dusted bread board; as thick as your middle finger (read ¾-1 inch).  I usually only roll out 5-6 inch lengths at a time.  They don’t have to be perfect looking, a bit irregular is just fine. Cut into 1 inch lengths (one knuckle long).  Using two forks press gently on the top and bottom to form small ridges.  This will somewhat flatten the gnocchi but the ridges are to hold sauce. If you slightly roll the gnocchi you can press it again and almost square it so each one isn’t as flat. Lay them on a cutting board that you dusted with rice flour. Don’t pile them on top of each other; one layer so they don’t stick together. Form all the dough while a big pot of salted (1 tsp) water heats.  I like a wide pan so I can easily fish out the gnocchi with my flat skimmer.  Put ¼ of the gnocchi in the bubbling water.  Let them slowly rise to the top; I leave them in about 2-3 minutes. I put them into a glass mixing bowl as I do the batches.

While they are cooking, heat the olive oil in a big sauce pan. I like to use my mini wok for this.  It is great for finishing a lot of pasta dishes.  Add the garlic and stir, cook 1 minute.  Add the drained greens, cook 1-2 minutes, adding the clams as it cooks, all the can juices too. Add the cooked gnocchi, the butter and if they seem dry; add a bit of the pot water; maybe ¼ cup. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Note: you can add extra clam juice if you use canned ones; sometimes I add half a bottle of the stuff as I like it brothy. I made some this week and I took to eating it in a low wide bowl using a soup spoon to be able to really sample that broth.

Dive in! broc and rab in pan

They warm up nicely for a meal the next day, keeps 1-2 days in the fridge.

The original recipe is from Italy Al Dente by Bibi Caggiano; adapted to be gf by me. I love this cookbook, use it often; my fav Italian cookbook.  SO many good recipes; she has many great risotto dishes in it as well as homemade pastas and sauces and recipes that use factory pasta.  I have found that every single one works quite well with gf pastas.

Originally posted in spring 2016.

Buckwheat Gnocchi with Clams and Rabe

Anyone who eats at my house knows my deep love of authentic Italian food.  I love many different dishes from spaghetti with meatballs to risotto to homemade pasta and sauce.  This post is about gnocchi. Specifically gnocchi made with ricotta cheese rather than potato.  I love their delicate flavor, light texture and how much easier they are to make than the potato version. I make plain ones with rice flour and will share that recipe some other post. Just don’t ask me how to pronounce gnocchi!

These are buckwheat gnocchi and are served with clams and broccoli rabe.  Yeah buckwheat.  No wheat in it; buckwheat is a relative of rhubarb and it has a homey flavor that somehow matches perfectly with the clams and bitter greens.  I have been making this dish for more than ten years; gf the past three years.  It is a traditional spring dish at my house and much loved by my daughter. Not that tricky, I promise you can make it, no fancy pasta machine required. No long process.  Roll, cut, press with fork and briefly boil.

It is a spring dish as broccoli rabe is best right now, bright green, snappy flavor and so good for you.  I cook it a few minutes in boiling water before draining and sautéing briefly in olive oil and garlic. Yumm!

You could use fresh clams but I never bother; if you do – please get tiny ones and save a bit of the cooking water to add to the sauce.  If you want to make it not gf; just use all purpose flour for the white rice flour. Most grocery stores now carry buckwheat flour; store the bag in your freezer please so it keeps longer.

giant muffin and buckwheat gnocchi 010

Gnocchi in my mini wok and ready to serve.

Buckwheat Gnocchi with Clams and Rabe

For the gnocchi

1/3 cup buckwheat flour mixed with

½ cup white rice flour or any blend

1 15 ounce jar of ricotta (whole milk is best)

¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese; fine grater side

1 ½ tsp. sea salt

Sauce:

1 lb broccoli rabe

1 large can tiny whole clams or 2 small cans chopped/minced clams

¼ cup EVOL

2 garlic cloves minced

1 tbsp. butter

Salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions: Heat a big pot of salted water.  While it heats, rinse the broccoli rabe and remove any yellowed leaves.  Cut the very bottom of the stems off and discard.  Cut the stems into 1 inch lengths. Do the same for the rest of the rabe; I set aside the stems and cook them one minute extra.  Throw the rabe stems in the boiling water, cook one minute and add the rest.  Cook maybe 3-4 more minutes; you don’t want it overcooked but not firm either.  Drain and set aside.

Mix all the gnocchi ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Turn out onto a rice floured bread board, knead briefly to form a dough. Do not add a lot of flour or your gnocchi will not be light and pillowy. Take a half cup or so at a time and roll it out on a rice flour dusted bread board; as thick as your middle finger (read ¾-1 inch).  I usually only roll out 5-6 inch lengths at a time.  They don’t have to be perfect looking, a bit irregular is just fine. Cut into 1 inch lengths (one knuckle long).  Using two forks press gently on the top and bottom to form small ridges.  This will somewhat flatten the gnocchi but the ridges are to hold sauce. Lay on cutting board that you dusted with rice flour. Don’t pile them on top of each other; one layer so they don’t stick together. Form all the dough while a big pot of salted (1 tsp) water heats.  I like a wide pan so I can easily fish out the gnocchi with my flat skimmer.  Put ¼ of the gnocchi in the bubbling water.  Let them slowly rise to the top; I leave them in about 3 minutes. I put them into a glass mixing bowl as I do the batches.

While they are cooking, heat the olive oil in a big sauce pan. I like to use my mini wok for this.  It is great for finishing a lot of pasta dishes.  Add the garlic and stir, cook 1 minute.  Add the drained greens, cook 1-2 minutes, adding the clams as it cooks, all the can juices too. Add the cooked gnocchi, the butter and if they seem dry; add a bit of the pot water; maybe ¼ cup. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Dive in! gnocchi 004

They warm up nicely for a meal the next day, keeps 1-2 days in the fridge.

The original recipe is from Italy Al Dente by Bibi Caggiano; adapted to be gf by me. I love this cookbook, use it often; my fav Italian cookbook.  SO many good recipes; has risotto in it as well as homemade pastas and sauces and recipes that use factory pasta.  It works quite well with gf pastas.