Linguine with shellfish sauce

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Linguine with shellfish sauce
This pasta recipe is one of my favorites.  It can be tailored to fit any budget.  Fresh squid is an excellent source of protein, is reasonably easy to clean once you learn how and costs about $2.50 per pound.  Cooked with a couple pounds of mussels, you can have dinner at home for four for under $15.  I think the secret for this sauce is all the simmering to let the flavors concentrate.  You can use any combination of mussels, clams, squid, shrimp, rockfish chunks, etc.  Many fish markets now label their product with green, yellow, or red signs to tell you whether or not the fish you are considering is produced and harvested in a sustainable way. Using whole grain pasta and served with a big salad, this is a really good meal.

Servings: 4-6


  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 pound squid, cleaned, bodies cut into wide rings
  • 1 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 28 ounce can tomatoes
  • 1 heaping teaspoon each dried basil, oregano, and thyme
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 pounds mussels or combination of mussels and clams
  • Optional: a pound total of shrimp, bay scallops, rockfish chunks
  • 1/4 cup (at least) chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound whole wheat linguine


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and crushed chilies; stir for about a minute.  Add the squid and saute until just opaque, maybe three minutes.  Add the wine and simmer until it is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.  Add the tomatoes with juices, bring to a simmer and break up the tomatoes.  Cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.

Bring 1/4 cup water to a boil in another large skillet.  Add the clams and mussels.  Cover and cook until the shells open, about 6 minutes.  Transfer the shellfish to a colander and drain.  Strain the juices in the shellfish skillet through a fine sieve into the tomato sauce.  Simmer uncovered a couple minutes.   If you are using other fish, add it at this point and simmer about three more minutes.  Add the clams and mussels from the colander, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the parsley.

Meanwhile cook the linguine, drain it, and return it to the pasta pot.  Add the shellfish sauce and toss to coat.  Serve in big soup bowls.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • (1/6 of recipe using no salt-added tomatoes and without optional ingredients)
  • Calories: 417
  • Fat: 12 gm
  • Saturated Fat: 2 gm
  • Trans Fat: 0 gm
  • Cholesterol: 217 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 35 gm
  • Fiber: 5 gm
  • Sodium: 480 mg
  • Protein: 35 gm