This Creamy Tom Yum Pasta is easy to make, exploding with Thai and Italian flavors, and super cozy and comforting! Seafood and veggies are tossed with pasta in a mouthwatering and fiery tom yum cream sauce!
130–140g Squid – cut into ½-inch wide rings/pieces, skin removed, rinsed thoroughly, and pat-dried
12 pieces frozen or fresh Littleneck Clams
12 pieces Shrimp – peeled and deveined, rinsed thoroughly, and pat-dried
½ TSP Kosher Salt, to taste
¼ – ½ TSP freshly cracked Black Pepper, to taste
1.5 TBLS freshly squeezed Lime Juice
2 Garlic cloves – finely minced
1 TBLS Olive or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Creamy Tom Yum Pasta:
8 ounces uncooked Linguini (or any pasta you like or have on hand)
2 cups Baby Spinach, loosely packed (if using frozen, you’ll need just 1 & 1/2 cups)
4 Garlic cloves – finely minced
1/2 Yellow Onion – finely minced
4 Red Chilies (optional), to taste and deseeded if desired – chopped
2 Asian Black/Brown Mushrooms (such as Shitake) – soaked, stubs discarded (or reserved to make broth another day), and the meaty part thinly sliced
4 pieces Baby Corn – cut in half lengthwise, and then again widthwise
2 TBLS All-Purpose Flour
3 cups Whole Milk
1 TSP Kosher Salt
1 TSP freshly cracked Black Pepper
1 TSP Garlic Powder
1 TSP Onion Powder
1 TSP Dried Basil
1 TSP Mint Flakes
1 TSP Crushed Red Pepper Chili Flakes
2.5 TSP White Sugar
3 TBLS Tom Yum Paste (adjust to taste as some Tom Yum Pastes can be quite spicy)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan Cheese
3–4 TBLS freshly chopped Coriander (half for the sauce and half for garnish)
2.5 TBLS Unsalted Butter
Make the Spice Bowl: Combine all the spices and seasonings for the Creamy Tom Yum Pasta in a small bowl. Cover and set aside until needed.
Prepare the Seafood: Rinse and chop the squid into ½-inch wide rings/pieces, then remove the skin, rinse again and pat-dry. Soak the clams for 20 minutes in a bowl of water, then rinse them thoroughly if using fresh. (Note: If your clams are frozen and the package they came in indicates that they are ready to cook, you can skip soaking, rinsing, and scrubbing them.) Peel and devein the shrimp if needed, rinse thoroughly, and pat-dry with a paper towel. Place the squid, clams, and shrimp into individual bowls and set aside.
Prepare the fresh ingredients: Finely mince the garlic, onion, and chop the coriander. Soak the mushrooms in water for a few minutes, rinse and drain well. Remove the stubs and discard (or save to make a soup or broth some other time), then thinly slice the meaty part. Slice the baby corn through the middle lengthwise, and then again through the middle widthwise. Wash and dry the baby spinach with paper towels, then set aside everything until needed.
Cook the linguini: Cook the linguini al–dente according to package directions in a large pot or deep sauté pan of boiling salted water. During the last minute of cooking, add the baby spinach. Drain and set aside. (I like to run water over my pasta to prevent it from sticking and cooking further.) Rinse out the pan and set it back on the stove.
For the Creamy Tom Yum Pasta:
Cook the seafood: Heat olive oil in a medium sized sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add all of the seafood, kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and lime juice. Sauté for a minute, then add the garlic and give everything a good stir to combine. Cover the pan and steam for 2-3 minutes. Uncover the pan and transfer the shrimp and squid to a clean bowl once they have just cooked through. Cover again and steam the clams for a further 2-3 minutes, or until their shells have opened. Then, switch off the heat. (Note: Discard any clams after this point if their shells are still closed tight. They are not suitable to eat.)
In the same large deep sauté pan you used to cook the pasta, heat unsalted butter over medium-high heat until it has melted and is nice and bubbly. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
Add the fresh chopped red chilies and sauté for another minute to combine.
Next, add the mushrooms and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until they have softened. (If it gets too dry, add a little olive oil or additional butter to the pan.)
Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then, lower the heat to medium and gradually pour in the milk while continuing to whisk.
Stir in the spices & seasonings in the Spice Bowl, the sugar, and the Tom Yum Paste. Then add the baby corn to the sauce and stir.
Add the freshly grated cheese and stir until the cheese has fully melted and the sauce starts to thicken.
Add the linguini and all of the seafood to the sauce and toss continuously to combine. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the pasta and seafood has heated through. The starches in the pasta will break down and the sauce will further thicken.
Add half of the chopped coriander and stir to combine. Then, switch off the heat.
To Serve: Divide the Creamy Tom Yum Pasta into plates or transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with the remaining chopped coriander and serve!
A note on cream sauces: Don’t worry if the sauce looks too “liquidy” even after combining the seafood and pasta with it. Cream sauces tend to settle and thicken once off the stovetop, so it will cling to the pasta and seafood perfectly after 2-3 minutes once off the heat.