Spicy Seafood Pasta

Turns out, the most difficult job for a Line Cook who’s starting out isn’t preparing a meal for a paying customer, it’s preparing what’s known as “staff meal.”

Back when I was a Newbie, at Spruce Restaurant, there was a day circled on the schedule, each week, with initials, which let you know staff meal was your responsibility.

Up to this point, I was doing what I was told, obeying diagrams on butchering, a slave to recipes by the book, never daring embellishment: Hollandaise was Hollandaise. Poached was Poached. Ham wasn’t the funny guy “Hamming It Up.” Ham was Ham and it sat atop an English Muffin.

All of this is an important part of developing kitchen discipline. But none of it leads to creativity. That’s something you have to earn. And there’s only one way to earn it, The Newbie gets hazed. In the kitchen, it’s a rite of passage.

New job agita is nothing without panic. Nothing causes panic like creating an original dish for a talented crew of restaurant pros with a severe case of the “Been There Done Thats.”

Combine new job agita with a brain fart, the result is starchy pasta, scorched tomato sauce and raw potatoes over mushy broccoli. Then, combine overwhelming side-prep with zero coping skills, the result is me running away from my first restaurant gig to hide in the kitchen of a hotel.

Everyone runs away at some point. It’s another rite of passage in the kitchen. But in the end, I was changed. And a better chef for it.

To this day, I view staff meal as a time for everyone to sit, eat, relax, bond and prepare for the chaos to come. I insist on the kitchen respecting this tradition. They’re rewarded with an atmosphere of teamwork. And their culinary creations appearing on the specials list.

In my book of top chefs, the best of the best always find a way to get jalapenos and cilantro into the recipe!

Spicy Seafood Pasta (Feeds 4 to 6):

  • 2 16 oz cans diced plumb tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion large diced
  • 3 heads garlic smashed
  • large pinch each: dry oregano, dry parsley, dry basil, chili flakes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 juicing lemon
  • 1 small can chipotle
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro chopped fine
  • 1-2#s linguini
  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 can chopped clam
  • 8 oz salmon medium diced
  • 8 oz tilapia medium diced
  • 2 Australian lobster tails medium diced
  • 2# fresh baby clams
  • 12 large shrimp shell on and de-veined
  1. cook pasta in water salty like the sea and shock in ice bath
  2. toss in virgin oil, juice of lemon, cilantro and set aside
  3. in large pot caramelize onion and garlic
  4. add dry herbs and chili flakes
  5. de-glaze with wine, add stock and simmer 3 minutes
  6. add tomatoes, adjust seasoning and simmer 10 minutes
  7. puree with wand hand mixer. add clams with juice, chipotle, and simmer 5 minutes
  8. add rest of seafood and simmer on low 10 minutes
  9. pour over pasta and eat
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0 Responses to Spicy Seafood Pasta

  1. Beth says:

    New Job Agita is a huge motivator, for me. It gets me in the door first and the last one home. There’s something great about fear as an incentive to perform.

  2. jon says:

    The pic of the pasta and clams ans tons of tomato sauce is awesome I love fresh clams!

  3. Andy says:

    There was no onions in my spicy seafood pasta.

  4. Julia says:

    That picture makes me miss Joey’s Brickhouse. Any plans for you and your brother to return to Chicago. No one had a menu as amazing as yours. We Miss You!

  5. Doug Wead says:

    How do you cook the seafood so it’s not overcooked?

  6. jojo says:

    Simply add fish the last 10 minutes and simmer on low. As long as it stays in the thin broth it will stay moist. Keeping the shell on the shrimp keeps them more tender. Salmon and tilapia may fall apart but they will taste yummy if overcooked.

  7. kristen says:

    I was a regular spicy seafood pasta girl at the brick house. The picture makes my mouth water. Don’t remember clams at Joey’s but I do remember calamari. Open a 1# stuffed burger joint and the world will rejoice:-)

  8. danny says:

    I made this recipe tonight with gluten free pasta. Using one full can of chipotle was over the top spicy but my company loved it anyways. I added scallops they were a huge hit. Thanks chef this recipe is so insider it’s like stealing. Keep them coming many of my friends have been turned on to your stories and we are thinking about a monthly joeys recipe dinner!

  9. jennifer says:

    I’m making this recipe for a group of 8 Tues thanks chef the picture belongs on the cover of magazine.

  10. Anonymous says:

    When I make this dish I’m skipping the lobster your video from a recent post still haunts me!

  11. Bruce says:

    More recipes from Joey’s Brickhouse, please. If you won’t come back to Chicago, at least your fans can make our favorite dishes from your menu. I loved the Spicy Seafood Pasta. Now, and you please share the recipe for the Walleye Pike over Coucous? That was my all-time favorite. By the way, you and your brother are crazy not to open another restaurant. The economy is turning around. Now is the time to strike, Morelli Brothers…

  12. Andy says:

    Amen Bruce. I’m tired of Lettuce entertain you shit. Make it a suburban restaurant with some fucking parking. Lose the frat boy jokes like ass lighting matches and you’ll do nothing but money.

  13. jojo says:

    Hahaha…you said ass :love:

  14. marcy says:

    What an unbealivable recipe thanks! I’m loving these stories more please!

  15. JewKnows says:

    Joey, (I can’t call you jojo, that too fucking gay, you fucking homo)

    The pictures of your “food” in this piece are typiclaly disgusting. Why torture people with your cooking. Go do another womanly job, become a nurse and pour your gayness into changing messy bedpans instead of messing up clean cooking pans with your gross food.

    And what the fuck with all of these “recipes” you plop on the site. Your just like every other fat wife across mid-waste america, cutting and sharing recipes. Like sure, you create recipes! And your brother is a best selling author, HA!

    Someone should sue your ass for copyright infringement or plagerizm. Recipe theft can carry a heafty faggot fine.

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