In recent years we’ve been constant visitors to Italy. We’ve always loved the country and have been vacationing there at least once a year, but since my daughter and her family have taken up residence in Vicenza, a small town in Northern Italy, we’ve been going more often. And when we do go we spend lots of time sampling the local cuisine in and around town, it’s a different experience when you dine where the locals dine and by pass the touristy restaurants that serve substandard fare at very high prices.
One of our favorite local restaurants in town is called Regina’s. Its a tiny place with seating for less than 20 people. But the service if friendly and the food delicious! My favorite dish is Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare or Seafood Spaghetti. I know when you think spaghetti you think red sauce and meatballs. That’s good too, but if you’re hungry for Seafood or just want something a bit more sophisticated then this dish is just what you need.
Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare is a pasta dish made with all types of seafood including clams, squid, shrimp, and muscles. It can have a tomato based sauce like Arrabiata or a white sauce like a pesto or Alfredo.
I personally love a lighter sauce made with white wine, lemon juice, and butter. That’s the recipe I’ll share today. I normally make it with shrimp, clams, mussels, and lobster if I can find some. You can use whatever seafood you prefer. It’s good with pretty much any type of seafood.
Here’s the recipe!
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1 Lb. Clams
1 Lb. Mussels
1 Lb. Shrimp – peeled and deveined but leave tail on
2-3 Small Lobster Tails – cut into 1 1/5″ pieces with shell on
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Butter
2-3 Cloves Garlic thinly sliced
1 Tsp. Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Cup White Wine
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes
1 Lb. Cooked Spaghetti
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
In a large pan melt butter in olive oil.
Saute garlic in butter mixture until it starts to cook, be careful not to burn.
Add seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Add wine and chicken stock.
Add clams and mussels. Cook until shells open.
Add lobster pieces and cook until shell starts to turn red and meat starts to turn white.
Add shrimp. Cook until shrimp turns pink and lobster is fully cooked.
Lower heat and stir in lemon juice and sundried tomatoes.
Remove from heat and serve over cooked pasta. Garnish with shredded cheese.
Fettuccine Alfredo was invented by Alfredo Di Lelio 1908. It was served in his mother’s restaurant in Rome. It’s fame really spread when Di Lelio opened his own restaurant in central Rome simply called “Alfredo” in 1914.
His original recipe was very simple, pasta tossed in butter and Parmesan cheese. Today if you go to most Roman trattorias or restoranti and ask for Fettuccine Alfredo they will probably have no idea what you’re talking about. The name is mostly used in other countries, mainly in the United States. In Italy it’s simply called “fettuccine al burro”.
There are many versions of this creamy white sauce, you’re almost sure to find it on the menu of many of the Italian style chain restaurants including The Old Spaghetti Factory, Olive Garden, and Macaroni Grill. They make it with shrimp, chicken, and plain with just pasta.
This version is really my son’s recipe. It’s very rich and creamy. We use it as a sauce for Chicken and Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo and even use it as a pizza sauce. My daughter Jaime loves the sauce over steamed rice.
This recipe is pretty simple but you have to keep stirring it so that the sauce comes out smooth and creamy. Left over sauce keeps well for a week or more in the fridge. Just warm it up and pour over pasta or meats.