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.
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.
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.
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.
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.