Linguine with Seafood Sauce


Squid, mussels, cockles, and shrimp comingle in this fantastically fresh seafood sauce. Bottled clam juice lends its briny flavor to the tomato base, which is further accented with garlic and herbs.

Linguine with Seafood Sauce
Photo: © Anna Williams
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
12 servings


  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled Italian plum tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed

  • 2 cups bottled clam juice (16 ounces)

  • 2 large thyme sprigs

  • 4 large basil leaves

  • Pinch of sugar

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 pounds cleaned baby squid, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch rings, large tentacles halved

  • 1 1/2 pounds thin linguine

  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded

  • 3 dozen cockles, scrubbed, soaked in cold water for 2 hours, and drained

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

  • Crushed red pepper


  1. Puree the Italian plum tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Strain them through a fine sieve set over a large bowl; discard the tomato seeds.

  2. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the extra-virgin olive oil until shimmering. Add the smashed garlic and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pureed tomatoes, clam juice, thyme, basil, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately low heat until it is reduced by one-third, about 45 minutes. Add the squid and cook over low heat until very tender, about 45 minutes longer.

  3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the linguine until al dente. Drain the pasta well and return it to the pot.

  4. Add the mussels and cockles to the tomato sauce, cover, and cook the sauce over moderately high heat until most of the shells have opened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until they are pink and firm, about 2 minutes longer. Discard any unopened mussels and cockles. Pour the tomato-seafood sauce over the cooked pasta and toss over high heat for 2 minutes. Transfer the pasta and sauce to a large warmed bowl, sprinkle with crushed red pepper, and serve.

Make Ahead

The tomato-seafood sauce can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. Bring to a simmer before proceeding.

Suggested Pairing

A light, bright white with sharp acidity will complement the shellfish and hint of red pepper in this dish.

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