When I can combine some of my favorite foods like shrimp, scallops and pasta I’m in heaven. When you add some fresh herbs, some heat, a little citrus and some calamari I’ve reached nirvana. This dish is a feast for the senses and my way of welcoming Spring.
This recipe was created after my nephew and I had a joint birthday celebration at our favorite pizza place. Each time we go there I order the tsunami pizza which is very spicy but this last time I was tempted by a seafood pasta dish. In the end I went with the pizza but later in the week I phoned the manager, Martin, who was kind enough to give me the framework of the recipe. Their pesto is top secret so I made my own but I wanted to put a twist on it so that worked out perfectly.
Topping this dish with basil, lemon and chopped tomatoes makes it special. So many fresh flavors! Buy your shrimp, scallops and calamari frozen and this recipe ticks off all the check marks – quick, easy, fresh, budget-wise and scrumptious. If the kids are a little reluctant about the calamari, just leave them out. It took me awhile to get used to them too and I would never have gone near them as a kid!
My friend, Teri, from No Crumbs Left (you MUST visit her blog!) arranged to have some harissa sent to me and I loved using it in the pesto for this dish. I love a pasta/pesto combo but I like a little heat too so this was the perfect solution. Quinoa spaghetti was perfect for this dish and I use this type of pasta now for all my dishes. Quinoa is so good for you and I’ve had a lot of fun cooking up many healthy dishes this past year.
Next up is harissa trout with quinoa – can’t wait!
How are you going to celebrate Spring? Got the fever yet? If you’re cooking up this dish or any of my dishes, take a pic and share it with me using #simplyfreshdinners on Instagram or Twitter. Cheers!
- 2 cups spinach, chopped
- 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons of harissa (according to taste)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 pound spaghetti (use quinoa, spinach, whole wheat)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup pesto (use more if desired)
- 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 24 small scallops, (use 12 if going with large scallops, remove tough foot muscles)
- 24 small calamari (thawed)
- Toppings (Optional)
- 1 tomato, chopped
- handful of fresh basil
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Add all ingredients except olive oil to food processor and pulse a few times. Slowly add the olive oil and continue to pulse until it reaches a thick, creamy consistency.
- Cook according to directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside
- Heat butter and olive oil in large saucepan on med-high heat for 2 minutes. Add onions, garlic and pesto, cook for 4 minutes.
- Add calamari, cook for 2 minutes. Add shrimp and scallops and cook for 1.5 minutes per side.
- Turn heat off, keeping pan on stove top.Add pasta and 1/4 cup pasta water, mixing well until pasta soaks up the liquid and pesto.
- Remove from heat and serve up in individual bowls. Top with tomatoes, fresh basil, and lemon twist. Parmesan is optional.