When my husband and I were lucky enough to visit Italy last year this was one of his go-to dishes, appearing as it did on almost every menu. The flavours are simple, yet carry so much depth – don’t forget the crusty bread for mopping up the juices!
500 grams spaghetti
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ - ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
¼ cup white wine
600 grams clams
600 grams mussels, de-bearded and well scrubbed
250 grams squid, cut into tentacles and rings
12 raw king prawns, unpeeled
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped roughly
Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and reserve 2 tablespoons of the pasta water. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pasta, stir through and sit the colander over the saucepan to keep warm.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add half the garlic and all the chilli flakes and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add the wine, clams and mussels, then cover and cook for about 5 minutes until the shellfish have opened. Discard any that don’t open during this time. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan and fry the remaining garlic for 1 minute. Add the prawns and cook for 3-4 minutes until pink, then add the squid and cook together for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, clams and mussels with their cooking liquid, drained pasta and the reserved pasta water and toss together over the heat for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat.
To serve: Stir through the chopped parsley. Divide the pasta and shellfish between plates. Season with sea salt and black pepper, drizzle over the remaining extra virgin olive oil and serve with crusty bread if desired.
Drink Match: Lighthouse Gin