Preparation / Directions:
STEP ONE: Cut the shrimp lengthwise in half. Cut each half crosswise. Set aside. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, about one minute. Add the shrimp and shallots and cook, stirring, about one minute. Add the tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Let simmer about one minute and add the parsley, oregano, and Cognac.
STEP TWO: Add the clams and mussels and cover closely. Cook until the clams and mussels open, about one and a half minutes. Add the crab meat, stir gently, and remove from the heat.
STEP THREE: Bring four quarts of water to a boil and add the perciatelli. Cook, stirring down with a fork, about one and a half minutes, and add the fettucine and the mezza-lasagna. Continue cooking about six minutes.
STEP FOUR: Meanwhile, spread out on a flat surface a sheet of aluminum foil measuring about 17 by 30 inches. Fold the foil over itself to make a rectangle measuring 15 by 17 inches. Fold over the open edges to seal. Drain the pasta and place it in the foil bag. Pour the sauce with the seafood into the bag. Scatter the basil leaves on top of the pasta and sauce. Fold the open end of the foil to seal it all around hermetically.
STEP FIVE: Lightly oil the bottom of a metal, flame-proof dish or baking sheet and place the pasta-filled foil bag on top. Turn the burner to high. Cook for about two minutes, until the bag puffs like a pillow.
STEP SIX: To Serve-- Using a sharp knife, cut a long slit on one side of the bag. Divide the pasta and seafood among four heated dishes.
CHEF'S NOTE: If perciatelli or mezza-lasagna are not available, substitute equal amounts of fettucine and cook for nine to twelve minutes.
Recipe By: Tony Vallone of Tony's, Houston,