Seafood Pasta with Cloves? You Bet!

This weekend we are wrapping up our Egyptian adventure with another winning recipe. When dad first picked Egypt a few weeks ago, we knew little about the local cuisine. We figured we would come across some traditional Middle Eastern dishes such as falafel or babaganoush – and we did. But we also discovered that Egyptian cuisine has influences from the Mediterranean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East and offers a lot of healthy, flavorful cooking options.

Tonight’s recipe is one of the first that we came across for the region and we instantly knew we had to try it. This recipe for Egyptian Seafood Pasta is very similar to an Italian dish that dad and I used to eat a ton of when we were dating. So going in it already had a lot to live up to.

We began our pasta dish by sauteing a chopped onion with some olive oil. Once the onion was softened we added bacon, garlic and ground cloves – yes cloves! This was new to me.

Next we thawed the shrimp, mussels and calamari rings. We bought cooked shrimp and pre-cooked mussels. You’ll need to adjust the recipe if you’re using raw ingredients.

The calamari rings were the first to be added to the skillet, followed by diced tomatoes, sea salt and red cooking wine. The wine wasn’t in the original recipe, but I couldn’t resist.

The calamari and tomatoes cook for about 10 minutes at which point the shrimp and mussels are incorporated. We cooked the seafood another three minutes. When the mussels started popping open we knew we were in business. We served the seafood mix over a whole grain spaghetti.

At this point Mr. N was about jumping out of his pants to eat dinner. He was so excited because it looked so good and he “hasn’t had mussels for years!” Fortunately the pasta lived up to his expectations and received a 4 spoons.

Miss A and I also gave our Egyptian seafood dish 4 spoons. I really enjoyed the hint of cloves in each bite. Much to my surprise it went really well with the garlic and tomatoes. Miss A also enjoyed the tomatoes and really liked the calamari. In her words it was “really, really, really, really good.”

Dad gave tonight’s dinner 3 spoons. He prefers a more dense sauce to the light sauce in this recipe. He still enjoyed it though and based on the fact that he had several helpings, I’m assuming he’d eat it again.

Overall, we’re all happy we discovered the cuisines of Egypt and we’re looking forward to attempting one more dessert. Now if I can just pull it off. It’s a recipe that I know will challenge my patience – possibly even more so than frosting a cake! ;)

Print this recipe: Egyptian Seafood Pasta

18 comments on “Seafood Pasta with Cloves? You Bet!

  1. Cloves, seafood, pasta – awesome!! I’d love to be at your house for dinner!

  2. Sue says:

    Did I tell you about the two layer cake Richard asked me to make him for his bday? That was a very bad day. Cool recipe!

    • ChefMom says:

      LOL! Oh no! I Yeah I don’t know that I could have handled a two-layer cake. I can barely handle a single sheet cake! Maybe we’ll whip this one up the next time you guys are over. :)

  3. Let me just say how cute Miss A looks in that photo. And the seafood pasta of course looks superb. And I’m with ChefDad I like a more dense sauce but I would eat more than one helping too LOL.

    • ChefMom says:

      You could probably make the sauce more dense for this dish – but I’d say you have to make sure to keep it a homemade sauce. I think the cloves would get lost with a store bought red sauce. Hope you’re having a great day Kay!

  4. Kelly says:

    I love the cloves! This is the beauty of cross-cultural cooking – we can depart from our usual taste sensations and experience something altogether different. What a great recipe (well illustrated too!)

    Thanks for sharing,

    • ChefMom says:

      Thanks Kellly! And thanks for visiting and commenting. We’re really enjoying our cooking adventures. We’ve been exposed to so many different flavors and combinations. It’s amazing. It’s not only great for the kids – but us grown-ups too. I know I’ve eaten things I never would have thought to eat – particularly cloves with seafood – and it’s all been great! Have a wonderful night.

  5. I definitely want to try this recipe, the cloves in this recipe makes it interesting. I don’t think my 4 year old would eat this, but my oldest would at least give it a try since he loves seafood. I love how you expose your kids to a variety of foods at a young age. :)
    Have a great day, I’m off to a busy Monday acting as the neighborhood bus driver (driving kids everywhere to school and after school activities!) :)

    • ChefMom says:

      Hey Lisa! I hope you had a good day as bus driver! That’s always fun. ;) If your oldest likes seafood he might enjoy this one. Mr. N’s favorite were the mussels – and that’s saying something because he’s a huge shrimp and calamari fan. Miss A really only ate the calamari (cut up in small pieces since it’s chewy). We’re trying to ease her into shellfish now that she’s almost three. :) Have a great night!

  6. Charles says:

    Judging by the other comments here it seems other people share my view – cloves with seafood pasta? Sounds intriguing, definitely something to try out. Congratulations on having adventurous kids – I know a great many kids who would sadly think this was the most weird thing you could possibly serve them!

    • ChefMom says:

      We got lucky with Mr. N. He’s always been willing to try anything once – from beets to calamari. I think his adventurousness helps with Miss A. On her own, she’s far more picky, but she adores her big brother and is certainly not one to be shown-up in anyway. ;) I have to admit I was completely leary of the cloves. I’ve only used them in pies and cookies until now, but it really turned out delicious! Who knew!

  7. With this recipe getting a “really, really, really, really good” rating , it has been put into my “Must Try” folder. I am intrigued by the cloves – not sure I would ordinarily try that. :-) Mandy

    • ChefMom says:

      If Miss A says she “really…really” likes something, she means it. :) And when she says something is nasty she means it too! I can always count on blunt honesty from her – well, unless it’s in regard to whether or not she’s picked up her toys. Ha! You’ll have to let us know what you think if you make it.

  8. sallybr says:

    Now you perked my interest…. cloves and seafood and pasta?

    I would have never thought of that – amazing combo!

    • ChefMom says:

      I never would have thought of it either. Usually we go with ground red pepper and italian seasonings. I really enjoyed this one though. So did the kiddos – and they don’t normally like pasta dishes. :)

  9. Great recipe. I love calamari and am always looking for new ways to use it. The cloves intrigue me. Wonderful pictures too.

    • ChefMom says:

      Thanks Greg! I was really surprised by the cloves. I wasn’t sure I would like them, but they gave this dish an interesting flavor. We’re all HUGE calamari fans here too. Yum!

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