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Impress your friends and family this holiday season with my easy seafood pasta bake- made with a combination of seafood, perfectly cooked pasta and a creamy white wine sauce!
Creamy Seafood Pasta Bake
A Family Holiday Tradition
Let me start by saying I am French…. AND Greek! If you know anything about either heritage you know it involves a ton of food. The French side of me uses a lot of cream, wine and butter. The Greek side of me cooks to feed an army or as if it is a special occasion every day.
When the holidays come around I take a different approach to my cooking. I start to get a bit more fancy and cook with ingredients I don’t use everyday. I have family members who can’t attend our holiday festivities, so we have a get together within the week or so prior. They know there is always a fantastic meal (and wine!) served, like this Seafood Pasta Bake.
About the dish
My seafood pasta bake recipe pairs two of my favorites- pasta and wine. I use Barilla pasta all the time, it is my brand of choice for many reasons. The main reason being flavor, a little salt in the boiling water is all I need. It also seems easier to cook to the right texture. Some pasta can over cook quickly, but Barilla is easy to cook Al Dente and holds up great to sauces.
Barilla pastas are authentic, wholesome and high quality- probably exactly why they are rated #1 in Italy. They also pair very well with Clos du Bois wines for everything from everyday weeknight meals to holiday entertaining. Another favorite dish I make combines a Clos du Bois Cabernet (used in my famous red sauce) with Barilla angel hair pasta. Absolutely amazing, but that recipe is for another day.
Briefly mentioned above- The wine I use is an amazing feminine, French brand called Clos du Bois. I use the Chardonnay because it is versatile, light, crisp and well balanced. The flavors play perfectly with seafood or chicken in both cooking and drinking; with key flavor notes being things such as apple and pear with a light oak character.
As a general rule of thumb, when cooking with wine use one that you would drink. There is no sour, bitter flavor with this Chardonnay, it’s smooth and adds just the additional level of flavor needed in this white wine sauce.
Clos du Bois offers a selection of vintage style wines that are elegant, but approachable at an affordable price. Even with the seafood, this dish comes out at about $5 per person. Not bad for a seafood dinner and a glass of wine, try getting that in a restaurant!
You can find Barilla pasta and Clos du Bois wine in your local supermarket or big box store!
It all sounds so fancy doesn’t it? Just remember- the dish is easy, inexpensive and sure to impress!
Here is how to make it (full printable recipe card below)
Chef side note– I apologize for the steam in these photos, as they say on T.V “Hey, we are really cookin’ here!”. They may not be perfect, but I love to show you as many steps as I can. Thanks for understanding!
on to the delicious recipe…..
Prepare the seafood so everything cooks evenly- quarter scallops, cut the lobster tail into chunks, peel & cut shrimp in half. Shuck crab (if using).
Heat a drizzle of Olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add seafood. Do not stir right away, allow the seafood to cook for a minute or two, this will help avoid sticking.
Slowly add wine, stir. This is also called “deglazing” , you can use a wooden spoon to scrape and loosen all the flavor from the bottom of the pan.
Add shallots, garlic and butter. Stir. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes.
Add flour and stir to coat seafood. Slowly pour in cream, stir constantly. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Sauce will begin to thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese.
Cook pasta to Al Dente texture, cooked but a bit firm. Drain and rinse pasta.
Preheat oven to 425. Layer in a casserole dish : pasta, seafood in cream sauce, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan.
Bake for 15 minutes to heat through and brown the top.
Serve with a glass of Chardonnay and crusty bread!
Do you have a special holiday dish your family loves? Tell us about it in the comments!
Happy Holidays, enjoy.
15 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 8 Sea Scallops, quartered
- 1 lobster tail, rough chopped
- 10 jumbo shrimp, cut in half
- 8 Jonah crab claws, shucked (optional)
- 2 shallots fine diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup Clos du Bois Chardonnay
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk or cream (I use milk)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan, divided in half
- Pinch salt & pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon or thyme
- 1lb Barilla Penne, cooked Al Dente
- 2 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Heat a skillet over medium , drizzle with Olive oil.
- Saute seafood for 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly add wine to deglaze the pan, add shallots, garlic & butter. Stir.
- Add flour, stir to coat seafood.
- Pour in milk or cream, bring to a boil stirring constantly
- Reduce to simmer, sauce should start thicken.
- Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 the Parmesan.
- Cook, drain and rinse penne pasta.
- Mix bread crumbs into melted butter.
- Layer in casserole dish- pasta, sauce and seafood, bread crumbs, remaining Parmesan.
- Bake 15 minutes or until top is golden and edges are bubbly.
- Serve with a glass of Chardonnay and crusty bread.