To say that the sea is important to the Province of Calabria would be a considerable understatement. In fact, the sea is probably the single most important geographical attribute in all of southern Italy where, in some places, it’s a little over 30 miles from one side of the peninsula to the other; e.g., from the Tyhrrenian to the Ionian in Calabria.
So, given the emphasis of the sea in southern Italy it’s no surprise fish play an important role in the diet of many Calabrians, including species like sardines, anchovies, skate, octopus, calamari/squid, clams, mussels and the diminishing swordfish.
A particularly satisfying pasta and fish dish that can be prepared during the holiday (or any) season is Calabrian Fisherman’s Linguine with Seafood Sauce (Linguine al Pescatore Calabrese). And although seafood pasta dishes can be found throughout Italy, our Calabrian version features indigenous clams, mussels, squid, capers, and red chili.
- Parsley, finely chopped
- ½ cup of dry white wine
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4-5 San Marzano tomatoes (with the skin removed)
- 1 pound of linguine
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of capers, rinsed
- ½ pound of squid finely sliced (tubes and tentacles)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 pound of clams
- 1 pound of mussels
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- Wash the clams and mussels in cold water, removing any dirt from the shells and removing the small beard-like part from the mussel shell.
- In a large pan, add a few tablespoons of water and a splash of white wine. Add the shellfish and cover with a lid; cook for 10-15 minutes or until the shellfish open. Remove the shellfish to a large bowl.
- In a large pan, add the garlic, onion, and extra virgin olive oil. Saute over medium heat and season with salt and black pepper. Add the squid and capers to the pan. Add the white wine and cook down for 5-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pan (crushing them with your hands to release the juice and break down the tomatoes). Add salt and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the shellfish and their cooking liquid to the large pan with all of the cooked ingredients. Add the parsley.
- Add the cooked linguine to the pan with the fish condiment. Add fresh extra virgin olive oil and stir and mix well (over a low heat).