Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spaghetti Ai Frutti Di Mare – Spaghetti with Seafood

May 2010 028

Are you one of those people who orders pasta with seafood in a restaurant but never makes it at home? Fear not, it’s much easier to prepare than you think and so much better when you can pick and choose the seafood components yourself fresh from the market.  “But I don’t have time to cook,” is no excuse either since this whole thing comes together in the kitchen in less time than it takes to order out.

It just takes a little forethought – like stopping at the market on the way home from work – something you probably do anyway. When I made this,  I was planning to use bay scallops but couldn’t find them, so I bought the larger sea scallops instead - cutting them into quarters. I also got squid, shrimp and some cockles from New Zealand. I like to include mussels in this dish too, but you normally can’t buy just a dozen or so – you’ve got to buy a huge sack of them, which wasn’t going to work in this meal for two people. You can add or subtract any other kind seafood you like.

May 2010 020 This was also a good time to try out an olive oil I just received among a box of goodies from Check out their website and you’ll find not only an array of olive oils from nearly every region in Italy, but other products that are difficult to find here in the states, including a green tomato mostarda and mugolio, a pine bud syrup.


image image One of the olive oils they sent was Olio Verde al Limone, an olive oil made by Gianfranco Becchina, whose olive groves in Sicily are interspersed with lemon trees. The olives and lemons are pressed together at the mill, resulting in a peppery olive oil infused with a bright citrus taste. It’s like summertime in a bottle. The two flavors complement each other perfectly, making the oil ideal for cold seafood salads, grilled fish, chicken or anything else your imagination can dream up.

image In my case it led to this pasta dish. I didn’t use the lemon oil olive for sautéing the seafood, just to drizzle on top after the pasta was put together. I wanted the fresh flavor of the lemon to shine through and I could be wrong, but I was afraid that heating it might alter it somehow.

The lemon flavored olive oil drizzled on top added just enough of a citrus flavor without hitting you over the head. I can’t wait to try it in other recipes, but for at least last night, it hit just the right note in the seafood pasta. So try it yourself. I’ll bet you and whoever shares this dish with you will be fighting over the last bit of spaghetti and seafood. Just don’t sprinkle parmesan cheese on top or I’ll hit you with an overcooked noodle.

May 2010 029

Spaghetti Ai Frutti Di Mare

(Spaghetti with seafood)

printable recipe here

(for two people)

8 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

8 medium calamari (squid), cleaned and cut into rings

8 clams (I used New Zealand cockles)

1/2 pound scallops

1/4 cup olive oil

1 T. butter

1 medium shallot, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

minced parsley

white pepper

red pepper flakes

1/4 cup Olio Verde al Limone olive oil

Get the water for the pasta boiling before starting the rest of the recipe since it takes only about 10 minutes to make start to finish. You’ll have three pots going at once – one for boiling the pasta, one for making the sauce and one for steaming the clams.

Place butter and 1/4 cup olive oil in one pan with shallot and garlic. Cook over low heat until wilted. Add the scallops and shrimp and cook for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Pour the white wine into the pan and add the calamari. Cook for another minute or two, then remove the seafood with a slotted spoon to a bowl or dish. Add the red pepper flakes to the liquid. Turn the heat up to high and let the sauce reduce a bit. This should take a couple of minutes.

While you’re reducing the liquid, you should start the pasta cooking in boiling, salted water. I used thin spaghetti that takes about five minutes to cook, but I removed it from the water after only four minutes when it was still al dente. Reserve some of the cooking water.

While you’re cooking the pasta, steam the clams in another pan until they open – it should take about three or four minutes.  Remove from clams and set aside.

Add the drained pasta to the pot with the reduced sauce.  Put the seafood back in and season with white pepper. Add the parsley and mix everything together. If needed, add a little of the pasta water. Drizzle the lemon olive oil on top and serve.


  1. wonderful dish....even if it isnt easy you make it seem so...

  2. Beautiful dish!
    Happy mother's day!

  3. OMG, this looks incredible. I can't believe it is only breakfast and I'm drooling over this. I'm definitely making this as soon as I find decent seafood

  4. ciao Linda questa pasta è la mia preferita,quando verrai in Italia la cucinerò per te come solo i meridionali la sanno cucinare baci Lucia

  5. I just love this! Love it!
    Yours pics are amazing....
    One of my very favorite dishes....
    Happy Mother's Day Linda!

  6. OMG....that looks like wife and I both love seafood pasta dishes....your post is we are both so hungry!!
    thanks for sharing

  7. Adoro la pasta con il pesce, la tua è favolosa. Buona domenica Daniela.

  8. Actually I prefer to make seafood pasta at home! I always feel shortchanged when I order it at a restaurant. Yours has got all the elements and looks fantastic in that beautiful Italian serving dish. That olive oil looks really good too!

  9. Linda hai creato un piatto eccellente con questi frutti di mare! colorato e saporito come deve essere! Bravissima!

  10. This is one of my favorite dishes - always altering the seafood but it is truly simple as you say. The fish cooks so quickly. HUGE SECRET: My Mother's Age and the fact that even though she grew up in an Italian household (she's 2nd generation American) if the sea food pasta has any hint of a tomato broth, she adds Parmesan! I love the ingredients you were sent and shall check out the website. And I don't for one minute believe you have overcooked noodles in your home!

  11. Now that --- is some seriously "Tasty on a plate."

  12. I would be fighting for every last morsel on the plate! I have to check out that lemon olive oil, I've always loved that combination. Happy Mothers Day Linda!!

  13. That is a magnificent picture at the top! Really good enough to eat.

    I have to make this. How much pasta do you allow for 2 people? I always make too much, but in this case, that's probably a good thing.

  14. WOW, this looks spectacular. I promise to try this and don't worry - no parmesan cheese! Happy Mother's Day!

  15. My favourite Pasta dish.. I never make it at home, I save it for my lunches or dinners out.

  16. Absolutely gorgeous! Your photos are always amazing but you've outdone yourself with these. I really have to try this recipe. It sounds amazing and those oils are a thing of beauty. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  17. This dish looks so delicious Linda! I would have had to squeeze those mussels in there somehow. ;) Happy Mothers Day!

  18. I'm the opposite...if I really like a dish from a restaurant...I have to try and make it at home.

    Everything is better at home...especially your seafood pasta.

  19. wow. This looks absolutely delicious. Your seafood looks plump and just gorgeous.

  20. Oh man! This is one of my favorite all time dishes and your version looks beautiful.

  21. I love pasta, and I adore seafood, so this dish is a must in my home..... even with a gluten-free pasta!

  22. Congratulations for your blog! Now I am a new reader and follower!
    See you soon

  23. Oh boy, this looks and sounds delicious, with a great choice of seafood - all my own favorites. And I will definitely check out that website - I'm a mostarda nut.

    Thank you once again Linda, for a great post!

  24. My son's favorite pasta since he was at the young age. I haven't made it lately, thanks for the reminder Linda!

  25. Looks beautiful! My cousin works at Olio2go and gave us this lemon olive oil at Christmas! It is wonderful! I introduced her to your blog - so glad you have connected.

  26. Linda,
    I just wanted to reiterate how much I enjoy your blogs. The photography is always wonderful. I look forward to seeing what you're going to be featuring next. Yum!

  27. What a delicious looking seafood pasta! My husband would be thrilled to come home to this. I guess I better get moving on it!

  28. Olio verde al limone gives a touch of class to the dish!

  29. This looks so delicious with all the fresh seafood. I want it!!

  30. My favorite seafood meal!! It looks amazing and I can't wait to give your recipe a try!

  31. AH! My absolute favorite dish to eat is spaghetti frutti di mare! I almost always order it when I eat in an Italian restaurant. I usually like it with a light tomato or arrabiata sauce, but the addition of this exquisite lemon olive oil looks so good.
    My husband taught me the "no cheese with fish sauce" rule when we first met, Waiters always seem surprised when I request hot pepper flakes instead of grated cheese on top of my frutti di mare pasta :-)

    Those olive oils and condiments sound wonderful --pine bud syrup is so unique and must smell so heavenly.

  32. awesome dish Linda... and you're right, it's easier than most people might think.

  33. Oh my word...I shouldn't have looked at this on an empty stomach! So delicious!!

  34. This looks so yummy, am just looking for a seafood pasta recipe. Thanks. Perfect for sunny say.

  35. This is a very beautiful dish you have here! I definitely would love to try this. Way too perfect! Thanks a lot.