Boast of Italian food: spaghetti allo scoglio

Boast of Italian food: spaghetti allo scoglio

The spaghetti with seafood (“Spaghetti allo scoglio”) are one of the most loved summer dishes. They are cooked throughout Italy, especially in seaside resorts and during holidays, but its origins take us south: to Sicily.

Unlike what you think, the origin of the name “Spaghetti allo scoglio” is not connected to the ingredients, but to an ancient recipe of fishermen. The sauce was made with small pieces of rock, which were sautéed in the pot to detach the “rock animals” still alive. The stones were removed and the pasta added to the sauce: a dish with an intense sea flavor.

Ingredients for 4 people

  •  350 gr Spaghetti or Vermicelli (durum wheat semolina and bronze drawn)
  •  1 kg Mussels
  •  750 gr Clams or lupins
  •  700 gr (clean) Squid, cuttlefish, baby octopus
  •  300 gr tomatoes
  •  Half a glass of Cognac or brandy
  •  White wine
  •  3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 Chili pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  •  Salt 
  • Chopped parsley


First of all let’s clean the fish!

The simplest ones are the clams. Rinse under fresh water to remove any sand inside.

Next the mussels: with a knife scratch the impurities on the shell and pull away the fine linen (the filaments that come out of the mussel).

Remove the octopus and squid’s head, entrails and skin (or have them cleaned by the fishmonger), and cut them into strips. Do the same thing with the prawns, finally extracting the pulp.

In a hot pan, brown oil, garlic and chili pepper.

Pour the clams and mussels into a large pot and let them open over high heat. Peel them about two thirds and filter the cooking liquid.

Take the squid and cook in another pan with a drizzle of olive oil, a clove of garlic and a little salt. Finally blend with white wine.

Also brown the prawns in a saucepan with oil, garlic and a drizzle of cognac or Brandy. When cooked, add the squid, mussels and clams and dip in the cooking shellfish broth.

Sauté the tomatoes, cut into small pieces, in oil, two cloves of garlic and a medium onion. When the vegetable water has dried, add the shellfish and crustaceans and wet with the cooking broth of the fish.

In the meantime boil salted water and pour the pasta, which must be drained halfway through cooking. Drain the pasta in the pan with the sauce and sauté adding a little chili pepper and a ladle of cooking water, in order to create a very thick and creamy mixture. Then serve it with unshelled seafood.

As per personal taste, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

With fish sauce you can prepare many variations: from risotto, to cooking in foil or crust.

Matching wine:

dry and fragrant white wine such as Ligurian Vermentino, or with Falanghina, Greco di Tufo or Bianco d’Alcamo.