Financial expert Matt Repass shares his Seafood Pasta recipe

Written By: | Photographer: Stephen Cherry

This is a light (after seeing my ingredients, some may dispute the “light” part) and easy dish made for summertime, when scallops, shrimp, tomatoes and basil are fresh. I like it because I usually make enough to have leftovers for day or two, and the dish is enjoyable even cold. My inspiration for the dish actually came from a something I’d had in Miami’s South Beach area that I was trying to recreate because I loved it for its taste and simplicity.

1-1 ½ lbs of fresh ocean scallops and shrimp. These I get from my favorite purveyors of seafood, Hot Crabs to Go. I get the largest “count” shrimp for a simple reason: Higher-count shrimp require more time to peel and devein, and since time is valuable, I say, “Go big!”

1 handful of fresh basil leaves. I’m not much on exact measurements when it comes to my creations in the kitchen.

Tomatoes. Depending on the season, I might use small grape tomatoes when fresh locals aren’t available. I have also found that sun-dried tomatoes work very well and always add a nice burst of flavor to most anything you use them in.

1-2 cups fresh-grated Parmesan cheese. I usually get a block and grate it myself, but if you’re not feeling the energy to grate, a one-pound container of pre-grated Parmesan will do.

Olive oil. I prefer Colavita Extra Virgin First Cold Pressed. Good olive oil is worth the extra cost because, after all, taste buds don’t lie.

1 box of penne. I have started using whole-wheat pasta from either Barilla or Sorvino.

5-10 cloves of garlic. I prefer more, and it is worth the time and effort to crush or use a garlic press with clove garlic over the jarred variety. Once again, trust them taste buds!

1 stick of butter. I only use butter in my kitchen, nothing fake. Real butter and real sugar – hey, it’s all natural.

Cooking sherry

Sea salt

Begin by sautéing 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, in two separate skillets, over low heat to keep the garlic from burning. In one pan, add the garlic to ½ or ¾ a stick of melted butter with a small amount of sherry, perhaps a tablespoon. In the second, larger, pan (12 to 14 inch), add the other 3 to 4 cloves of garlic to olive oil in an amount that covers the entire bottom of the pan and then some. (Regardless of what I may be cooking, sautéing garlic in olive oil is the first thing I do. The aroma alone sets the tone for something tasty to be created.)

Peel and devein shrimp, cutting each one into 4 pieces, and set aside. Ocean scallops are large, so they, too, will need to be cut into ½ inch pieces and set aside. Having been sautéed for the time it has taken to cut, peel and devein the seafood, the garlic is now ready. Add the scallops to the pan with the butter and the shrimp to the pan with olive oil. Keep the shrimp at a lower temperature than the scallops, to give time for the water to evaporate from the scallops. (If you are using an iron or Calphalon skillet, a nice glaze will form on the bottom, which a bamboo spoon will mix in nicely as they cook.) While the seafood is cooking, chop up some of the fresh basil and add it to both pans. Cook the scallops until the water they hold evaporates and a glaze forms on the pan, then set aside in a mixing bowl. Do the same for the shrimp, cooking until tender, then pouring them, along with the olive oil, into the same mixing bowl as the scallops, and set aside.

On another burner, have boiling water ready to cook the pasta, adding a little olive oil and sea salt to the water. As the pasta is boiling, return the bowl of seafood to the large skillet, add a pinch or two of sea salt, and turn it on high as you mix the shrimp and scallops together. (You may add some additional olive oil to the pan or add it over the pasta when mixing everything together.) While warming the seafood and boiling the pasta, chop your tomatoes of choice and the remaining basil. Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain it and combine it in a large mixing bowl with the seafood, grated parmesan cheese, tomatoes and fresh basil. Serve and enjoy!

Editor's note: Matt Repass is an Investment Advisor, Registered Financial Consultant and CertifiedRetirement Financial Advisor with PKS Financial Advisors.

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