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Shellfish, pasta, wine a classic Italian combo

MONDAY, DEC. 20, 2010

While visiting Elba, a tiny, picturesque island off the western coast of Italy, I tasted a wonderful pasta dish made with fresh shellfish, white wine and spaghetti.

Spaghetti del Pescatore (Fisherman’s Spaghetti) is the kind of simple dish that makes Italian food so enticing. I have adapted the recipe using clams and shrimp, but any shellfish including mussels or lobster may be substituted.

Spaghetti Del Pescatore (Fisherman’s Spaghetti)

1 pound fresh clams

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine

3/4 pound peeled and deveined shrimp

1 cup low-sodium, low-fat tomato sauce

1/2 cup chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 pound spaghetti (1 1/2 cups cooked)

2 teaspoons olive oil

Place a large saucepan filled with water on to boil.

Scrub clams and place in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cover with a lid and cook until shells open, about 2 minutes, shaking pan several times. Remove clams to a bowl, leaving the juice in the pan. (If juice is sandy, strain through a sieve lined with paper towels.)

Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and white wine to the skillet. Boil to reduce liquid for about 1 minute.

Lower heat to medium and add shrimp and tomato sauce. Simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes or until shrimp are pink; remove from heat. Sprinkle with parsley and add salt and pepper to taste.

Return clams to skillet and set aside, covered. Cook spaghetti in boiling water 8 to 9 minutes. Drain and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and sauce. Serve on plate and top with clam sauce.

Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 566 calories (14 percent from fat), 9.1 grams fat (1.4 grams saturated, 4 grams monounsaturated), 270 milligrams cholesterol, 48.6 grams protein, 59.2 grams carbohydrates, 4.3 grams fiber, 300 milligrams sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks including her newest, “The Flavors of the Florida Keys,” and “Mix ’n Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes.” Visit her webpage at or e-mail her at

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