You may be wondering, “What’s special about baked seafood?” and rightfully so.
I like to try new ingredients when I cook, but seafood is one thing that terrifies me in the kitchen. So, the special thing about this dish is that I managed to make a respectable seafood dish for dinner – one that both my husband and I liked! You see, I like shrimp and he doesn’t. And, I he likes fish more than I do. So, I challenged myself to come up with a dish that would lend itself well to both fish and shrimp.
Even more impressive is the fact that the fish and shrimp still resembled fish and shrimp once they made it to the plates! I have tried many times to sear and grill seafood… I usually loose half of the shrimp in the grill (even when using skewers, don’t ask) and I generally end up with scrambled fish (one of my “specialties”).
The flavors in this dish were inspired by my garden. Earlier in the summer, I planted a small golden cherry tomato plant. It has since grown to be about 6 feet tall (with the help of 4 tomato stakes and a small bush that it has grown onto). In the past week or so, the tomatoes have started to ripen to a beautiful golden orange color, and I have been able to pick a large bowl of tomatoes every day or two. So, I used the tomatoes with a cherry pepper and herbs from my garden to dress my seafood. I used the same combination of herbs in a quick pasta dish to accompany the baked seafood.
A few days later, I am still amazed at how well this dish turned out. Since I was able to make it, I assure you, it is probably one of the easiest seafood dishes you will ever make!
Baked Seafood and Lemon Herb Pasta
- 8 ounces golden cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red cherry pepper, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- Two servings of fish/shrimp (I used one mahi mahi fillet and one serving of shrimp)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces thin spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, and set aside. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
While the pasta cooks, combine the cherry tomatoes, minced cherry pepper, minced garlic, one teaspoon of the basil, one teaspoon of the thyme, and one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the seafood in a single layer in the baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with the cherry tomato mixture. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain the pasta and return to the pot. Add the two tablespoons of butter, and squeeze the lemon half over the pasta. Toss until the butter has melted. Add the Parmesan cheese, the remaining tablespoon of basil, and the remaining tablespoon of thyme. Toss to evenly combine the pasta and the herbs.
Serve the seafood with the lemon herb pasta, garnishing with lemon slices, if desired.