Linguine alla Pescatora

After an endless amount of meat during the Easter holiday, I was screaming seafood.  It was beckoning to me.  Living in a seaside town of Rome, I get to have a choice of the freshly caught aquatic marvels.

On sunny weekends, whatever season it may be, throngs of people arrive in our town that it can become excessive at times.   We, on the other hand, go to the opposite direction looking for greener pasture, more inland, and I imagine questioning looks darted at us leaving the beach on such a beautiful day.
I'm not big on shellfish but my son is.  He made this discovery when he was barely two-years old.  I know, why give shellfish to a toddler that age.  It was a lunch party among relatives and since he was the only kid of his generation then, he was the apple of everyone's eyes.  Put any kid in the middle of a group of Italians and he will be treated like royalty.  He indicated to the big bowl of mussels and I saw more than enough pairs of hands excitedly moving towards the bowl to feed him a piece.  My husband and I were reluctant, well not really consenting, but the members of the older generation in our table were convincing.  Yield parents, yield.  We did.  And we learned that shouldn't have when we went home.  Sigh.

Risotto alla pescatora is very good when it's done well and tasty.  I rarely order it in the restaurants because when linguine all'astice (lobster) is present in the menu, it easily outshines it.  In my opinion, it is the supreme seafood pasta and nothing can crack that crown.  My husband orders the pescatora sometimes and when he does, it means that I have access to taste it. 

For this seafood urge that suddenly seized me, I made linguine alla pescatora.  I would have done the risotto, but lately, I had been cooking too much risotti that my son already marked an x on it.  Mommy, enough with the rice, I want pasta!

So here goes my very first trial with linguine alla pescatora.  It came out looking and tasting like one, like I hoped it would.  I had a garlic binge, putting in four, lots and lots of parsley and a cup of white wine.  And of course the fundamental ingredient - fresh seafood and lots of them. 

Linguine alla Pescatora

Serves 4
  • 350 grams linguine or any similar pasta like spaghetti, vermicelli
  • 700 grams shrimp
  • 1 squid, cut into rings
  • 1 octopus, cut into rings
  • 350 grams mussels
  • 350 grams vongole (clams)
  • 1 big bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 300 grams cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cloves garlic (2 cloves finely chopped and the others halved)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

  1. Boil some water in a pot for the pasta.  When it boils, add the salt.  Cook the linguine following the number of minutes suggested in the box. 
  2. Meantime, over medium heat, sautè the garlic & chili in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil.  Add some chopped parsley, about 2 tablespoons.  Add the mussels & clams.  After tossing for a couple of minutes, add the octopus, squid, shrimp, tomatoes & parsley.  
  3. After cooking for about 10 minutes, add the wine.  Let the liquid evaporate until it becomes slightly thick.  Cook for about 20 minutes, mixing once in while.  Add the salt.

4.   About 2 minutes before the pasta cooks, transfer to the saucepan with the sauce.  Mix with the seafood for 2 minutes.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.