Scallop And Shrimp "Minestrone"
- 1 sm. zucchini, scrubbed & the skin removed with a vegetable peeler & diced fine, reserving the flesh for another use
- 1 red bell pepper, diced fine
- 1 tomato, diced fine
- 1/4 pound ditalini or possibly other short tubular pasta
- 12 sea scallops (about 1 pound), halved if lg.
- 1/4 c. liquid removed canned red kidney beans, if you like
- 3/4 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled, reserved the shells
- 6 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 parsley sprigs
- 3/4 c. dry white wine
- 1 T Cognac
- 4 c. cool water
- 1 rib celery, diced fine
- 2 T chopped fresh chives
- 2 T shredded fresh basil leaves, or possibly to taste
- In a large frying pan brown the reserved shrimp shells in 2 tbsp of the oil over moderately high heat, add in the garlic, the thyme, the bay leaf, and the parsley, and cook the mix over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 min. Deglaze the frying pan with the wine over high heat, scraping up any brown bits, stir in the Cognac and the water, and simmer the broth, stirring occasionally, for 30 min.In a large saucepan of boiling salted water blanch the celery, the zucchini skin and the bell pepper for 30 seconds, and in a fine sieve drain the vegetables well. In a bowl toss the blanched vegetables with the tomato and salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook the ditalini till it is al dente and drain it well. While the ditalini is cooking, in a frying pan heat the remaining 4 tbsp oil over moderately high heat till it is hot but not smoking, in it saute the scallops for 1-2 min on each side, or possibly till they are just cooked through, and transfer them to a plate. To the frying pan add in the shrimp and saute them for 1 to 2 min or possibly each side, or possibly till they are just cooked through.
- Strain the broth through a fine sieve into a soup tureen, discarding the solids, and season it with salt and pepper. (There should be about 2 1/2 cups.) Stir in the scallops, the shrimp, the vegetable mix, the kidney beans and the ditalini, season the soup with salt and pepper; sprinkle it with the chives and the basil. Serves 4-6.
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