Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Linguini with scampi-and-seafood sauce
( Linguine con scampi e frutti di mare)

Italian traditional recipe

Linguine with scampi and seafood is a very tasty dish that has its roots in Campania and other Italian regions bordering the sea. It is often chosen as typical recipe when people organize Christmas Eve dinner or New Years Eve dinner or want to prepare something special to celebrate since it is a fairly expensive dish.

difficulty: medium

time: 1 hour 30 minutes

calories: 387 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 240g (8 1/2 ounces) linguine
  • 400g (14 ounces) clams in their shell
  • 400g (14 ounces) mussels in their shell
  • 4 (about 200g - 7 ounces) scampi
  • 1 200g (7 ounces) can good-quality crabmeat
  • 50g (1 3/4 ounce) spring onions
  • 250g (8 3/4 ounces) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
medium difficulty
preparation: 50 minutes
plus cleaning time for clams
cooking: 40 minutes
total: 1 hour 30 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 387 (kcal) 20 % - 1618 (kJ)
Protein: 23.5 (g) 47 % GDA
Total fat: 10.4 (g) 15 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 52.9 (g) 20 % GDA
Sugars: 7.0 (g) 8 % GDA

Download free PDF version (143 download).

Recipe for linguine with scampi and seafood sauce

According to the recipe told by oral tradition you'll need for 4 people: 4 large scampi, 4 large crabs, 500g (1.1 pound) seafood (mussels, clams, warty venus and date mussels), 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, 300g (10 1/2 ounces) cherry tomatoes, 300g (10 1/2 ounces) linguine, salt and pepper. The same tradition tells us to cook scampi and crabs in their shell in a pan with a crushed garlic clove and 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil for about ten minutes. After, you have to turn off the stove and open the other seafood, cleaned and rinsed, in a second pan with the remaining olive oil and the second garlic clove. Once their valves are opened, you can transfer all into the first pan along with all tomatoes cut in half. At this point let all the water, released by seafood, reduce on high heat. Meanwhile, cook linguine al dente, drain and toss with the sauce and all the ingredients still in their shells.

I reworked this classic version of linguine with seafood and scampi for a lot of reasons related for example to the environment and a more elegant way to serve this dish especially when you have guests.
First of all warty venus are also known as clams (Venus verrucosa), extractor warty, coppola ... I chose to use clams that are easily found all over Italy and outside, I hope :))
Currently, it is forbidden to fish and sell date mussels. So I had to discard them.
It is difficult to find raw whole crabs and so I opted for the classic can of good-quality crabmeat, unfortunately rather expensive.
Another problem is to serve your linguine dish with all seafood still in their shell, from scampi to clams. Scampi and whole crabs create huge problems, really. Surely you'll get your hands dirty, besides you could leave some unwelcome and embarrassing "gifts" on the tablecloth. It's not really the case!
My version does not create any problem! Besides it's very tasty if you can find very fresh ingredients. I decided not to use garlic but herbs in abundance just to enjoy the best flavors of scampi, mussels and clams and the delicate meat of crab. I generally serve my dish only with some mussels and clams in their shell and an empty shell of scampi to garnish.

Here's my own version of linguine with scampi and seafood! Be careful: it's a long-to-do recipe!

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare clams.
    Soak them in cold salted water, changing water often, at least 3 hours.
  • - Clean mussels.
    When you buy mussels, let fishmonger clean them with his special machine so you do not have to brush their shell. On the contrary, you should make this step at home by hand.
    Anyway you have to remove byssus ie those silky fibers that protrude from their two valves. I make it in two steps. Before opening mussel valves, I pull byssus firmly towards me. This is not always enough to remove byssus completely, and so, when I remove the mollusc from its valves, I look for the remaining and remove it definitively.
  • - Prepare scampi.
    You have to remove their tail from the shell. The technique is quite simple but careful not to get hurt because scampi are pretty tough.
    Remove their head. Then take every scampi in the left hand turning it on its back. Cut its legs and the ventral part on both sides. At this point, remove its ventral cartilage, cut the first dorsal ring with scissors, peel it off, put your finger under the tail and push the tail out. If you act with caution you could put aside at least an intact shell for a spectacular presentation of your plate as you can see in the photo. In this case, you shouldn't remove head and legs.
    Cut scampi tails into pieces.
  • - Open clam and mussel valves.
    I generally do it separately because clams may have still a little sand. Make clams and mussels open in two pans with a lid, on high heat, and without adding any oil or other ingredients. In a few minutes clams and mussels are open. Let them cool, remove the molluscs from their shell but put aside some of them whole to garnish your dish. At this point you have to strain the liquid emitted through a tightly woven fabric. You'll have to add it to your sauce.
  • - Prepare pasta sauce.
    Fry slightly chopped onion in olive oil on very low heat. Then add halved tomatoes and flavor for some minutes. Continue cooking tomatoes adding strained liquid from mussels and clams. You could add preservation liquid of crabmeat too. Just before turning off the stove add mussels, clams, crabmeat, scampi tails and aromatic herbs. Stir. Season to taste with salt but be careful: seafood is already salty!
    Sprinkle with pepper, if liked.
  • - Cook linguine.
    Meanwhile bring to a boil a large kettle of salt water and cook linguine al dente stage.
  • - The last step.
    Drain pasta and transfer into the pan with the sauce. Let all ingredients flavor on high heat,stirring with delicacy, a minute.

Just before serving

  • - Distribute your tossed pasta into individual plates.
    Garnish with whole mussels and clams you've put apart and empty scampi shells.
    Serve at once.



  • - I seem already to see the face of the purists who blame me for the way by which I open mussels and clams. I think no one has time and patience to open mussels as once, away from fire. It happened to me to follow, fascinated, an old fisherman in Salento (Apulia - Italy) making this operation. I assure you that he was very fast but he himself took a long time ... and then you must know how to do it and have a dexterity that can be acquired through experience. So it is always a matter of time!
  • - You can also add a bit of chilli in the sauce if you like it and replace dried herbs with fresh ones if in season.
  • - It is true that it would be more scenic bringing a bowl full of pasta to the table and serving guests directly but not very practical. Believe me. Bring your linguine to the table in individual plates, it is much better ;)

Menu planning

  • - Linguine with scampi and seafood is a first course rich in ingredients and quite expensive as I have already had occasion to write and so it is usually prepared for special occasions in Italy. Christmas comes first. But I would also recommend it for special occasions when you want to celebrate people who love seafood.
    Pasta portion is quite small because this recipe is designed for a complete menu based on fish, Italian style.
  • - When you choose a pasta dish of this kind that is quite long and laborious to do, the rest of your menu should be much simpler. Your main dish is just this one with linguine. On the other hand the variety of crustaceans and molluscs is remarkable, right? For the other courses opt for simple-to-cook saltwater fish.
    If you want to prepare a full menu, Italian style you have to prepare an antipasto and a second course too.
    I'd choose a variety of smoked fish accompanied by battered vegetables as a starter. There are a lot of good-quality tuna, swordfish and salmon, ready-to-eat.
    Baked fish served with seasonal green salads is perfect as second course.
    Remember that sweets should not contain whipped cream and custard too. After a menu based on fish the ideal would be a nice fresh fruit salad or a fruit tart. Below you will find all the useful links for your menu and more.

Useful links for this recipe

  • - I believe you could find interesting to consult our directory on sea fish to look for your favorite recipe as second course.
  • - Another useful link is Italian antipasto ideas where there are a lot of tidbits to start your menu.
  • - Finally I propose you my fruit tart, ideal to close every fish menu.

Healthy eating

  • - I bet when you have read nutrition facts and in particular the calories you must have thought this pasta dish is not a calorie bomb in spite of its ingredients. The explanation lies in the reduced amount of pasta (only 60 grams per head) and olive oil (less than 2 teaspoons per head), essentially. Note that I calculated calories, fat and sugar of linguine with scampi and seafood for my own version and not for the recipe, passed on from father to son.
  • - Different matter is cholesterol in the case of crustaceans and molluscs, but since it is a dish for special occasions, it is best not to think about it. You'll eat it rarely, right?
  • - Fiber per serving: 3.1 grams


What's the right wine for " Linguini with scampi-and-seafood sauce "?

My husband and I suggest two different wines, both white. The first is Pigato of Riviera Ligure di Ponente (wine from Liguria) and the second is a wine from Campania: Greco di Tufo