I have been planning to make this dish for a couple months. Each time I would prepare shrimp I saved the shells in the freezer. This made for an excellent stock for the Seafood Alfredo. You can make the stock ahead of time and freeze it so when you put the dish together it literally takes under a half hour. I also had been saving little scraps of fish: cod, salmon, pacific rock fish, etc. I like to cook the fattest parts of the filet so cubed up the thinner pieces and froze with the Alfredo in mind. Finally, I cooked the fresh fettuccine in shrimp broth, which really enhanced the flavors. You can use any combination of fish/shellfish you like.
TO MAKE THE SHRIMP BROTH:
About 2 lbs. shrimp shells
3 quarts water
2 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 medium sized onion, cut into quarters
1 Tbsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring all to a rolling boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and either proceed with the recipe or place in the freezer.
BEFORE MAKING THE ALFREDO SAUCE, COOK THE FISH.
1/3 lb. shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1 lb. mussels
I used these frozen mussels from my local Safeway grocery store. Being from New England and land of fresh mussels I had my doubts, but they were really fabulous!
About 1 1/2 cups of various pieces of cubed fish. Thawed, if using frozen left-overs.
In a heavy bottomed (My preference always is cast iron.) skillet heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil until hot; nearly smoking. Reduce heat to medium. Quickly saute the cubed fish and shrimp, stirring with a rubber scraper so the fish does not stick. This will take 3-4 minutes. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside. Do not clean the pan.
TO MAKE THE ALFREDO SAUCE:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
5 Tbsp. flour
1/2 small shallot, very finely diced; about 2 Tbsp.
1 small garlic clove, very finely diced; about 1/2 Tbsp.
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 cup heavy cream or I used 1/2 cup half and half and 1/2 cup heavy
1/2 cup dry white wine; whatever you have opened.
1 cup (or more) fish broth
Salt/Pepper to taste
In the same pan you sauted the fish and shrimp, melt the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until completely blended. Reduce heat and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes to form a roux. Stirring often reduces the chance of any lumps in your sauce. Add shallot, garlic, tarragon and parmesan, and stir for another 3 minutes. Add wine, cream and fish broth and stir until you have the desired consistency. The sauce needs to be thick enough to hold up to and coat pasta and fish nicely, but not so thick that it is goopy. The longer you cook it, the thicker it gets. Add more fish broth if the sauce becomes too thick. Taste for salt and pepper. Set aside.
TO COOK THE PASTA:
Cut about 1/2 lb. asparagus into 2 inch pieces. Bring 2 1/2 quarts of fish stock to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp. salt. Add the fresh fettuccine. I did not make it this time, but this store-bought version was pretty good.
Cook the pasta for about 3 minutes. Add the mussels and asparagus. Cook for another 7 minutes until mussels open and pasta and asparagus are al dente.
Drain the pasta reserving some of the cooking liquid in case you need it to thin the sauce. Mix all ingredients including the Alfredo Sauce together back into the pasta cooking pot and cook just enough to reheat the fish and shrimp; about 2-3 minutes more, stirring to ensure that all is well coated. Serve with warmed French bread and a fresh green salad.
I did not get a photo of the final results as we were too darned anxious to EAT! So easy. So good.
THAT’S IT FOR TODAY!
IT IS PALM SUNDAY…I AM ALREADY MISSING THE BIG EASTER EXTRAVAGANZA I HAVE DONE FOR MANY YEARS, BUT DO PLAN ON MAKING A NICE MEAL FOR ME AND MY HUSBAND, JERRY.
AND MAYBE NEXT YEAR WE WILL CONTINUE
THAT WONDERFUL EASTER TRADITION!
I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR AND
ALWAYS FEEL HOPEFUL ABOUT GOOD
THINGS TO COME! NEW BEGINNINGS…