Vermicelli and sea ‘jewels’ in a bag

Vermicelli and sea ‘jewels’ in a bag

Vermicelli e gioielli di mare in cartoccio

Laura Edwards

I always wondered why some restaurants and trattorie served pasta with a mainly fish sauce in a bag made of ovenproof paper or aluminium foil. Through investigation I came to the conclusion that it is not only for show, but to properly cook and present the fish and pasta. It concentrates the flavour and fragrance, which explode when the package is opened, invading your nostrils with a truly pleasurable aroma. You must of course use the freshest of ingredients. If you can’t get hold of a sea truffle – rare even in Italy – use some clams, they are all jewels of the sea. You will also need some good ovenproof paper or foil.


Quantity Ingredient
350g dried vermicelli or spaghetti pasta
salt and pepper, to taste


Quantity Ingredient
60ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1 hot red chilli, chopped
250g cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons dry white wine
300g mussels, cleaned
300g sea truffle or clams, cleaned
200g baby squid, cleaned, bodies cut into rings
200g very fresh prawns, peeled or unpeeled
200g scallops, cleaned and shelled weight
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic and chilli, and fry briefly. Add the tomatoes and wine and cook for a few minutes. Now add the mussels and sea truffles or clams, put on the lid, and wait for them to open in the heat, about 4 minutes.
  3. At this stage, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for 6–8 minutes or until al dente. While the pasta is boiling add the squid, prawns, scallops and parsley to the sauce, and cook for 3–4 minutes. Now add the well drained pasta to the sauce, mix well and season to taste.
  4. To prepare the bag, lay a large doubled piece of paper or a single piece of foil out on a baking sheet on the work surface, roughly 50cm square. Put the pasta and sauce in the centre, and proceed to fold the parchment or foil in such a way as to build a sealed dome. Seal all the edges well.
  5. Put the baking sheet and the dome package into the hot oven for 5–6 minutes. Transfer the package to a large serving dish and bring to the table. Open in front of the guests and divide between warmed plates.


  • Linguine could be an alternative pasta, and you can use whatever seafood you can find or get hold of.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again