First Date Seafood Fettuccini
(or Fettucine)


This takes its name from the fact that this is what my wife fixed on our first date. It also is a great example of the sort of contemporary cuisine I see emerging. Just look at the list of ingredients: fettuccini (Italian), miso (Japanese), chili paste with garlic (Chinese, though other Asian cuisines have a version of this as well), and the usual staples. What I like about this dish is that it is familiar (a tomato-based seafood fettuccini) and unusual at the same time.

Serves 4

  • 8 ounces dried fettuccini
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 8 ounces assorted mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz. can)
  • 2 teaspoons miso
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste with garlic
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (a.k.a. Oriental sesame oil)
  • About 8 ounces shrimp
  • About 6 ounces scallops
  • About 12 mussels
  • Handful cilantro leaves

You need a pot for the fettuccini and a pot with a tight lid for the sauce. Have a big pasta bowl ready for serving.

1) Start a pot of salted water for the fettuccini. Peel and devein the shrimp, scrub and debeard the mussels.

2) sauté the onion in oil until soft, then add the mushrooms. Let them cook a few minutes then go down the list stirring in each ingredient. Stop with the soy sauce. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then adjust the seasoning with lime juice, chili paste, and soy sauce. Turn the heat off. (This much can be done in advance.)

3) Cook the fettuccini.

4) When the pasta is just about done, throw a flame under the sauce and stir in the sesame oil. When the sauce comes to a steady boil, throw the seafood in all at once and cover. The seafood only takes a couple minutes, so drain the pasta and put in a pasta bowl. As soon as the shrimp are pink and the mussels are open (discard any mussels that don't open), pour everything over the pasta and toss slightly to coat the noodles with sauce, then scatter the cilantro leaves over the dish and serve.


The Future of Cooking


John Ryan

Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.

Just Good Food Archive

This page created 1997. Modified August 2007.

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