This recipe is an outgrowth of trying to cook simple food for my now deceased lifetime best friend Morrie Shaffer during his convalescence. The recipe shown below, however, has been enhanced to become truly "knock 'em out" delicious. The best part is that it is completely original, and it receives rave reviews, and I get a real kick out of watching people dive back in for seconds. This recipe will easily feed eight people. Remember to look at the recommendations at the end of this recipe for appetizers, side dishes and dessert. Life can be beautiful!
2, 1 lb. boxes of linguine
2, 8 oz. bottles of clam juice
2, 6 oz. cans of chopped clams in clam juice
2, 6 oz. cans of lump crabmeat
2, 6 oz. cans of sliced mushrooms
1½ lbs. of small shrimp, peeled (raw or cooked, frozen)
1 lb. of raw bay scallops or sea scallops (quartered)
1 tbsp. of dried basil
5 tbsp. of cornstarch
1, 14 oz. can of chicken broth
2 tsp. of sea salt
1 tsp. of white pepper
½ stick of butter
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of Parmesan cheese (served separately in a bowl)
Prepare a large pot of water (about 5 quarts) to cook the linguine. Put 1 tsp. sea salt and the ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil into the pot, cover it and heat to boiling. Keep the pot covered and shut off the heat. This will provide a quick means later to cook the linguine, just before serving the meal, as the water will not take very long to come to a boil.
Use a very large skillet with high vertical sides and a glass cover available. Pour in the bottled clam juice and chopped clams with clam juice from the cans. Add the cans of the sliced mushrooms including the liquid. Add the crab without the liquid. Add the bay or quartered sea scallops and the basil and mix the contents. Chop the shrimp into pieces the size of the scallops. Add the shrimp, 1 tsp. of sea salt and the white pepper to the skillet and mix the contents.
Put the cornstarch into a medium bowl and pour ½ can of the chicken broth into it while mixing. Pour the mixed contents into the skillet and mix well. Use the other ½ can of chicken broth to get any remaining cornstarch out of the bowl and pour that into the skillet. Mix very well. Slice the butter into small pieces and add them to the skillet.
Heat the skillet contents on medium heat, with the skillet covered. Stir gently but thoroughly every two minutes, until the mixture comes to a boil. Let it boil gently for two minutes while stirring. The sauce should be thickened and the seafood cooked just enough. Remove the covered skillet to a warm 200ºF oven. Place plates or large shallow serving bowls for each person into the oven to pre-warm them.
Heat the pot of water to boiling on high heat, add and stir in one pound of the linguine and partially cover the pot to maintain medium boiling while cooking for nine minutes (or less per package instructions). Stir to assure the linguine pieces are not sticking together after the first minute of boiling. When done, use a utensil to extract the linguine and put it into a medium bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and put it into the warming oven. Cook the second pound of linguine in the water used for the first pound. When done, drain it and place it and the linguine made earlier into a very large serving bowl. Add the contents of the skillet and mix well.
Serve the meal with freshly sliced warmed Italian bread and butter and a Caesar salad, with the bowl of Parmesan cheese on the side for sprinkling on the linguine with seafood. A nice white wine like a chilled Pinot Grigio with chilled wine goblets goes very well with this meal. Ice water is also recommended.
The recipe for excellent homemade Caesar salad is contained within this collection of recipes. To feed eight people I recommend three large heads of romaine lettuce and a double recipe of the salad dressing.
Melon (very ripe cantaloupe is best) wrapped in proscuitto ham makes a great appetizer, along with some kalamata and/or oil cured olives and some marinated artichoke hearts and snack crackers, plus a robust provolone or gorgonzola cheese.
Spumoni ice cream with Pepperidge Farm® Milano or Brussels cookies and freshly made coffee makes a nice dessert course.
Burp! Ahhh …