This recipe was originally featured in The 30 Second Wine Advisor's FoodLetter on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2004.

Adriatic-style seafood and pasta

INGREDIENTS: (Serves two)

4-6 ounces (120-180g) farfalle or other pasta of your choice
2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Dried red-pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 of a 14-ounce can peeled tomatoes with their juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
12 ounces (350g) tiny bay scallops
6 jumbo shrimp
1 tablespoon butter
1 thick "coin" sliced from fresh ginger root
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch saffron threads
1 teaspoon dried basil
Black pepper


1. Put a large saucepan full of salted water on high heat, and while it's coming to a boil, start the sauce. Peel and chop the onion, peel and mince the garlic, cut the tomatoes into rough chunks, and measure out the other ingredients. I saved time by using peeled cooked shrimp, but if you're starting with raw shrimp in the shell, simmer or steam them until just barely cooked through, then peel when they're cool enough to handle. Rinse the scallops and pat them dry with paper towels or a dish towel.

2. Sautee the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until they turn translucent and start to soften; don't let them brown. Add the tomatoes with their liquid and the broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 or 15 minutes, just long enough to soften the ingredients and blend their flavors.

3. When the pasta water comes to a rolling boil, put in the pasta of your choice and cook until al dente, per package directions and your own observations. While the pasta is cooking, use a standup or stick blender to "buzz" the sauce to a smooth puree.

4. When the pasta is within 3 or 4 minutes of being done, melt the butter over medium-high heat in another sautee pan or saucepan; put in the ginger "coin" and cook it briefly to release its aromatics. Dry the scallops and put them in, searing them quickly, no more than 1 minute or so if they are very small. Remove and discard the ginger; add the tomato sauce and the shrimp, reduce heat to low, and simmer for another minute or two, stirring gently, taking care not to overcook the shellfish. Add the lemon juice, saffron and basil, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed, and serve it over the hot, drained pasta.

MATCHING WINE: This combination of flavors worked very well indeed with the bold, citric-tart flavors of a fresh young New Zealand white, Allan Scott 2004 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Just about any dry Sauvignon Blanc would be good, or if you prefer something Italian, go with a dry, aromatic alternative - a Tocai Friulano from northeastern Italy or a quality Soave would be regionally appropriate.