Seafood Pasta with Tomatoes, Chiles, and Mint
This elegant but easy pasta is quick enough for a weeknight family dinner but special enough for hosting guests. You can customize the spiciness to your liking. Choose a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil with plenty of flavor—it melds with the tomato, wine, and seafood juices to produce the pasta’s sauce. Eating the shrimp heads and shells is part of the fun of this dish (they also enrich the sauce), but you can use peeled and deveined tail-on shrimp if you prefer.
- Kosher salt
- 1 lb. mussels
- 6 large sea scallops (about 9 oz.)
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1⁄2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. dry white wine
- 4 tomatoes on the vine (about 1 lb. 10 oz.), coarsely chopped, juices and seeds reserved
- 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (2 Tbsp.)
- 2 oil-cured anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 3⁄4 lb. jumbo head-on shrimp
- 1 lb. dried linguine or spaghetti
- 1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced (or to taste)
- Crushed red chile flakes, for serving (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, clean the mussels and scallops: Run the mussels under cold water, lightly scrubbing the shells. Using your fingertips, look for any “beards” (they’ll feel like coarse, thin hairs) protruding from where the shells meet. If you find any, pull them away and discard. Remove the “foot” from each scallop by pulling away the thin white strip on the outside and discarding. Pat the scallops dry all over.
- Be sure all of your ingredients are prepped and set by the stove. In a large, deep (ideally 14-inch) skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once shimmering, add the scallops. Cook, undisturbed, until browned, about 6 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the remaining side, 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Quickly add the onion to the skillet and season lightly with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 1 minute. Add the wine, tomatoes with their juices and seeds, garlic, and anchovies; stir to combine. Add the mussels and shrimp; raise the heat to medium-high. Cover and cook, shaking the skillet occasionally, until the mussels are fully opened, about 6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring frequently, until just al dente.
- Stir the seafood mixture in the skillet and add 2 to 4 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water if needed for sauciness, then cover and continue cooking 2 minutes more. Uncover, add the scallops and Fresno chile to taste, and stir well.
- Drain the pasta and transfer to a large rimmed platter. Pour the seafood mixture over the top, gently shifting the pasta with tongs to coat in the sauce. Sprinkle with chile flakes, if desired, then top with the mint, a few glugs of oil, and more black pepper. Serve immediately.