Linguine with seafood

Linguine with seafood

Linguine ai frutti di mare

Helen Cathcart

This delicious dish is best cooked with really fresh shellfish, as the seawater trapped inside the shells is what makes it taste so good. Whole raw king prawns are also necessary for a great flavour. Most supermarkets tend to sell them already peeled with the heads and tails removed, but the heads contain the most flavour so buy them whole if you can. At the restaurant Gatto Nero on Burano, an island in the Venetian Lagoon, they have a little trick of putting some grated Parmesan in the bottom of the bowl before putting the seafood linguine on top. Usually Italians don’t mix cheese and fish but in this case it was really good. They also use more shellfish than pasta. The seafood will cook quickly so prepare everything you need, get the pasta cooking and finish off the sauce.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg mixed seafood, such as squid rings around 1 cm thick, clams, queen scallops, mussels, raw whole king prawns
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, finely sliced
handful parsley, roughly chopped
50ml white wine
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
good pinch salt
30g parmesan, finely grated
350g linguine
or 350g spaghetti


  1. Clean the shellfish removing the beards from the mussels and drop the clams from a height of around 15 cm into a bowl one by one to check for sand – it will come out as they land if dropped from this height. Discard any that are broken or are open and don’t close with a tap as they are dead. Remove the tails and shells from the bodies of the prawns leaving their heads on.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until it is only just al dente.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan with a lid, add the squid and fry for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the seafood, the garlic, chilli and parsley. Put the lid on the pan and continue to cook for around 4–5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently. When all the shellfish’s shells have opened, pour in the wine and let it reduce, uncovered, until the strong smell of alcohol has dissipated. Discard any unopened shellfish. Then add the cherry tomatoes and salt.
  4. Drain the pasta and toss it into the sauce. Let it cook in the juices for a couple of minutes. Divide the Parmesan into the bottom of 4 warm shallow bowls and top with the seafood.
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