Squid Ink Pasta with Seafood

This recipe is inspired by a dish served at one of my favorite local St. Louis restaurants and is the only item on the menu I order when I go there.  The combination of the wonderfully briny and beautifully black squid ink pasta, delicate scallops, tender lobster meat, and sweet, succulent prawns immediately draw you in, then you’re surprised with the perfect finish of an added layer of acidity using lemon-infused olive oil, lemon juice, fresh parsley, and just a bit of heat from the chili flakes.  Sweet, salty, acidic, and spicy!

1 pound squid ink spaghetti
1 pound live clams cleaned and de-bearded
1 pound large sea scallops
1 pound prawns peeled and de-veined
1 pound lobster tail, shell removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
4 tablespoons vegan butter
2 tablespoons pimento, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon-infused olive oil
1 tablespoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice and zest from one lemon
Fresh parsley, finely chopped


1) Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente texture. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta, cover it to keep warm and set it aside.

2) Melt half of the butter in a deep saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute until slightly browned and fragrant.

3) Add the white wine to deglaze the pan then add the chili flake, lemon juice, pimento, and reserved pasta water.

4) Add the clams then cover the pan and steam them until the shells open, 3 to 5 minutes. Discard any shells that do not open.

5) While the clams cook, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter.

6) Add the prawns, lobster meat, and the scallops to the skillet and season them with salt and pepper. Cook the seafood for 2 to 3 minutes until you get a good sear on the bottom of the scallops, then turn the seafood over and cook an additional 2 to 3 more minutes until everything is cooked through.

7) Transfer the seafood and the cooked pasta to the pan with the mussels and stir to incorporate the sauce into the entire dish.

8) To serve, portion the pasta into bowls and distribute the seafood and sauce. Drizzle the lemon-infused olive oil on top followed by the lemon zest and parsley.

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