This easy Seafood Pasta with Garlic Cream Sauce is spectacular enough to serve for a special occasion, but it’s deceptively fast and simple enough to make on a weeknight. So treat yo self.
Sharing with you today this super-comforting and delicious seafood pasta recipe with the simplest garlic cream sauce. The sauce alone is soooo easy and delicious that I have been making it on repeat for months. It consists of butter, cream and a combination of two cheeses that thicken the sauce beautifully with a subtle milky, nutty flavour. It’s as easy as boiling water. Well, easier even. You only have to simmer.
The seafood is super quick-cooking and delicious, and truly not difficult either. I’m offering a few tips and tricks to prepare it really nicely (with a beautiful sear and juicy, perfectly-cooked doneness).
How to make this Easy Seafood Pasta with Garlic Cream Sauce
- Before you do anything, start the water boiling. That way you can cook the pasta while you prep the rest.
- Start with a very hot Dutch oven, preheated for at least 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Once super hot, add the oil and let that heat up, too, before adding the seafood. The weight of a cast iron or cast aluminum Dutch oven allows the heat to conduct super evenly to sear without burning.
- Pat dry the scallops and shrimp and salt them just before adding them in a single layer. You will be rewarded with a beautiful, golden crust. Salt too soon and they’ll release moisture, making it impossible to get the sear.
- The method for this creamy pasta sauce is as simple as bringing cream to a simmer and whisking in grated cheese. (I’m so tempted to say “FOLD IN THE CHEESE” for the Schitt’s Creek fans.) It’s a magic ratio of cream to cheese that results in a silky-smooth, perfectly-thickened cream sauce, without the need for a ton of butter or a fussy, flour-based roux.
- For a silky-smooth cheese sauce without any graininess, turn off the burner completely before adding the cheese. It’s the overheating that causes it to separate.
- Choose “dry” scallops specifically, or ones that say “without brine or preservatives added”. Slightly less expensive scallops will be plumped up with salt water (so really, they’re not cheaper because you’re paying for that extra water weight). The water releases as they cook, so they will never sear(and they don’t taste as good).
- Choose basic pizza mozzarella that is sold in a brick. Save your fresh mozza for another purpose, where it will be the star. (Like One-Pot Cheesy Lasagna perhaps?)
- Reach for spaghettini or angel hair pasta for the sake of speediness (either cooks in under 5 minutes) or choose another favourite pasta shape. Fettuccine jumps to mind.
Some other Super-Cozy Pasta Recipes:
Easy Seafood Pasta with Garlic Cream Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb scallops patted dry
- 1/2 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 oz parmigiano reggiano grated (about 1/2 cup packed) (sub grana padano or pecorino romano)
- 4 oz mozzarella grated (about 1/2 cup packed)
- 8 oz angel hair pasta or spaghettini
- 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley or chives optional
- Start a pot of salted water to a boil.
- Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat for several minutes. Heat oil until it shimmers then pat dry shrimp and scallops and sprinkle with salt. Use long tongs to carefully arrange in a single layer on the hot pan. Let cook undisturbed until well browned on the underside, flipping only when they release easily, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook about a minute more, until just opaque. Transfer to a plate.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions (about 4 minutes for these types).
- Add butter and garlic to the same dutch oven (without cleaning it) and cook about 30 seconds, until garlic is softened. Whisk in cream and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat and whisk in cheese until smooth. Add pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Stir shrimp and scallops into the sauce or top servings individually to show off the gorgeous sear. Serve sprinkled with parsley or chives if desired.