Linguine ai Frutti di Mare

The secret to a great linguine ai frutti di mare is to use fresh seafood and to use the juices of the vongole and a stock made from the shrimp heads and shells for the sauce. It is a bit of work to make the stock and clean the fresh seafood, but it is oh so delicious if you love seafood. It can’t be compared to seafood pasta made with mixed frozen seafood, which is tough, hardly has any flavor, and doesn’t provide the flavorful ‘sauce’. The ingredients for this marvelous dish are simply pasta and seafood with a bit of olive oil, white wine, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. Linguine is a flat type of spaghetti and it is often served with a seafood sauce. If you can’t find linguine, spaghetti will be fine too.

If you have access to fresh seafood, take advantage and prepare this pasta dish. You won’t regret it.


For 3 servings

225 grams (.5 lb) linguine

500 grams (1.1 lb) vongole (or other small clams)

9 large shrimp with heads and shells

6 small squid

250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine

1 clove garlic

1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley

extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine 500 ml (2 cups) water with 15 grams (2 tsp) of salt and stir well to make water that is as salty as the sea. Put the vongole in this water for an hour to allow them to purge themselves of sand and other impurities.

Meanwhile, peel the shrimp and reserve the heads and shells.

Sauté the heads and shells in a bit of olive oil until they are orange on all sides.

Add the white wine…

…and an equal amount of water as well as the stems of the parsley. Bring to a boil.

Lower the heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, clean the squid.

Start by pulling on the part with the legs and eyes while holding the main part. You will tear the squid in two. Now remove everything that is inside the main part, both the bone and the squishy stuff, and discard that.

Cut off the legs just below the eyes and discard the part with the eyes.

Peel the skin off the main part.

Cut the main part in rings of about 1 cm (1/2 inch) wide. Roughly chop the legs as well.

Repeat with all of the squid.

By now the shrimp stock should be done.

Pour the shrimp stock with the heads and shells into a china cap.

Use a pestle to squeeze all the tasty juices from the heads and shells.

Put the shrimp stock in a wide pan, bring to a simmer, and simmer until reduced to just 4 tablespoons or so.

Rinse the vongole with cold water to remove the salt. Put the vongole in a pan with a bit of water of white wine over high heat. Cover and cook over high heat…

…until all the vongole have opened.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the linguine.

Heat 4 Tbsp olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the garlic and stir once or twice. It is important not to allow the garlic to get brown, as that will give the garlic a bitter taste that will overpower the delicate flavors of the seafood.

Add the shrimp.

Add the squid.

Add the concentrated shrimp stock.

Cook over medium heat until the shrimp is just cooked through.

Add the clams and the juices they released.

Drain the linguine into a colander about a minute before cooked al dente according to the package instructions. Add the drained linguine to the seafood.

Add the parsley.

Cook the linguine together with the seafood for a minute to marry the flavors. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt (probably not needed) and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve at once on warm plates.

Wine pairing

Almost any unoaked Italian dry white will do, such as Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi or Gavi di Gavi.


An artichoke salad is a simple antipasto, perfect for the summer and best to prepare sous-vide for maximum flavor and tender artichokes with some bite to them as well. Most of the work goes into cleaning them, but fresh artichokes are so much better than from a jar or can. As is usual with antipasti, you just need some good olive oil and a bit of parsley to turn some artichokes into a great antipasto.


12 thoughts on “Linguine ai Frutti di Mare

  1. Stefan, this is my kind of pasta. 🙂 I love the concentrated shrimp stock and addition of the clam liquor. This has to have incredible flavor. The only difficulty is the shrimp stock but I always keep some on hand for special occasions, i.e. when I cook shrimp dishes. 😉 Otherwise, this is very simple and straight forward. Just out of curiosity, given the complexity of the broth, why did you not add the discarded squid pieces to the stock?


  2. This is a wonderful preparation, Stefan. So rich with seafood flavors. For the first time in ages, I’ve noticed whole shrimp available at the fishmongers’ and market. I don’t know why, suddenly, they’re available but I looked at them thinking that I finally could make a good shrimp stock. Today, you just gave me a good use for that stock. I just hope they’ve more shrimp. 🙂


    1. I hope so! It’d also be great for shrimp risotto. I have noticed in the US that it is very uncommon to see shrimp with the head still on. Makes you wonder whether all those heads are discarded or turned into something delicious…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I discovered on this dish on a trip to Sardinia and since then it has become one of my favourite recipe! Lovely to see you cooking it! Where do you get your fresh seafood from? I find it a bit difficult to find in the Netherlands.


    1. Salut Raphaelle,
      I get my fresh seafood from a number of places:
      – my local fishmonger in Wormerveer
      – Hanos in Amsterdam (you need a pass for this)
      – Albert Cuyp market in Amsterdam
      – fisherman’s market in Den Oever (Saturday mornings only)
      – Vishandel Tel on Kloveniersburgwal in Amsterdam
      It is not so difficult to find if you know where to look. Hope this helps!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s