SHRIMP AND SCALLOP STEW WITH ARTICHOKES AND OLIVES
This recipe is the offspring of a TV show and a hankering for some seafood. We're big fans of Tyler Florence on the Food Network and his show Tyler's Ultimate. He's always upbeat, and his style of cooking fits mine: big, bold, and kind of sloppy (but he calls it "rustic"). He made something recently with a very simple tomato sauce. I didn't want that dish, but the sauce looked great, and it had been a long time since we'd had the two seafoods that both of us like, shrimp and scallops. I decided to experiment, and I got a winner. It's very rich, delicious, easy, and fast. There's so much tomato that it really comes out rather stew-ey (thus my name for it), and I like it that way. If you want to make it less wet, try using just one can of tomatoes. Either way, you'll like it. Plain spaghetti would work as a bed for it to lie on, but I lucked out and found some hand-made sun-dried tomato and basil flat pasta at a Pennsylvania Dutch market in Delaware. Given the cost of seafood, good pasta is appropriate for this dish. It's definitely company-worthy.
On the artichokes: if you can't get the frozen ones, don't bother with the marinated or canned. Their flavor will overpower the rest of the dish.
1 lb. sun-dried tomato-flavored ribbon pasta
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic (or to taste) peeled and minced
2 28-oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes, broken into large chunks, with juice
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 package (10 oz.) frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 lb. large shrimp
1/2 lb. small bay scallops. (If you can only get the larger sea scallops, cut them in half.)
1 cup whole, seeded kalamata olives
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Good Parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan deep enough to eventually hold the entire dish, including pasta. Add onion, garlic and pepper flakes and sauté until onion softens and garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Add basil and artichokes and simmer about 10 minutes more, until artichokes are cooked through. Stir in shrimp and scallops and simmer about 5 minutes, just until seafood is firm and opaque. Stir in cream to combine.
Taste for salt and add if necessary. Add cooked pasta to sauce and toss to combine.
Serve with grated Parmesan.