A Family Tradition
Let me start by saying that I come from a mix of French and Greek heritage, and both cultures are known for their love of food. So, when the holiday season comes around, I like to switch things up and create dishes that are a bit more special than our everyday meals. One recipe that always steals the show is my Seafood Pasta Bake.
An Easy and Elegant Seafood Delight
Seafood pasta is a versatile dish that’s perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a casual weeknight dinner or a gathering with friends and family. It combines a medley of seafood, tender pasta, and a delectable white wine cream sauce. The flavors are truly irresistible!
What Sets My Seafood Pasta Bake Apart
Unlike ordinary pasta dishes, my seafood pasta bake incorporates a special ingredient that takes it to the next level: Clos du Bois Chardonnay. This elegant French wine adds a light, crisp, and well-balanced touch to the dish, complementing the seafood perfectly. The subtle hints of apple and pear, along with a touch of oak, enhance the flavors and create a delightful dining experience.
Cooking with Wine: A Rule of Thumb
When it comes to cooking with wine, always use one that you would enjoy drinking. The Clos du Bois Chardonnay I use in this recipe is not only fantastic for cooking, but it’s also incredibly enjoyable to sip on while you’re preparing your meal. Its smoothness adds a layer of flavor that elevates the white wine cream sauce to new heights.
A Delight That Won’t Break the Bank
You might think that a dish like this would cost you a fortune in a restaurant, but with my recipe, you can enjoy a restaurant-quality seafood casserole for only around $5 per person. It’s an affordable luxury that will impress your loved ones without straining your budget. Plus, you can’t beat the cozy ambiance of your own dining table.
How to Make the Creamiest Seafood Pasta Casserole
Let me guide you through the steps of creating this creamy seafood masterpiece:
- Prepare the seafood by quartering the scallops, cutting the lobster tail into chunks, halving the shrimp, and shucking the crab (if using).
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the seafood and let it cook for a minute or two without stirring to prevent sticking.
- Slowly add the Clos du Bois Chardonnay, stirring to deglaze the pan and release all the flavorful bits from the bottom.
- Add shallots, garlic, and butter. Continue cooking for approximately 3 minutes.
- Sprinkle in flour and stir to coat the seafood. Gradually pour in the cream while stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. The sauce will begin to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in grated Parmesan cheese.
- Cook the pasta until al dente (firm yet cooked). Drain and rinse.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F. In a casserole dish, layer the pasta, seafood in cream sauce, bread crumbs, and grated Parmesan.
- Bake for 15 minutes until heated through and the top is golden brown.
- Serve your mouthwatering seafood pasta casserole with a glass of chilled Chardonnay and some crusty bread.
Now, doesn’t that sound delightful? Trust me, this dish may sound fancy, but it’s actually quite simple to make, budget-friendly, and sure to impress your friends and family.
The Perfect Pairings
While this seafood pasta casserole is delicious on its own, you can elevate your dining experience by adding some delectable sides to the menu. Here are a few suggestions:
- Crisp green salad
- Green beans
- Garlic bread or dinner rolls
Feel free to get creative and explore different flavor combinations. And of course, you can’t go wrong with serving an extra drizzle of the white wine cream sauce alongside any of these sides.
Variations to Spice Things Up
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to experiment with fresh and vibrant flavors, here are some exciting variations you can try:
- Add tomatoes: For an extra burst of flavor, toss in some diced tomatoes before baking the dish.
- Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning: If you crave a bit of spice, sprinkle some Cajun seasoning over the top before baking.
- Play with different seafood: While I love the combination of lobster and shrimp in this casserole, feel free to mix and match your favorite seafood to suit your taste.
Leftover Love and Reheating Tips
If you happen to have any leftovers, make sure to consume them within three days. Use your judgment and discard anything that seems past its prime to stay safe and healthy. To reheat your seafood pasta bake, you can either microwave it or transfer portions into a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and warm it in the oven. This will help restore that fresh-out-of-the-oven flavor.
Don’t Forget to PIN for Later!
I hope you enjoy making this creamy seafood pasta casserole as much as I do. It’s a dish that brings people together, sparks joy, and creates cherished memories. So gather your loved ones, raise a glass of Chardonnay, and savor every bite of this delightful seafood delight.