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Main Ingredient: Shellfish

Cozze al Forno

Baked Mussels

This recipe is popular in many parts of Italy, and is very easy to prepare. It can also be served as a main course: simply increase the quantity of mussels. Because you are cooking with olive oil, the mussels can be eaten hot or cold.

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Cozze Gratinate

Mussel Gratin

These mussels are ideal as an antipasto. They can be served warm or cold.

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Gamberoni all 'Aglio Olio e Peperoncino

Prawns in Garlic, Oil and Chilli Sauce

These prawns are especially delicious if you take the trouble to peel the body, leaving the flesh exposed so that it can absorb the other flavours. The juices from the head also contribute to the final taste of the sauce. Add chilli to taste - I like it hot!

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Impepata di Molluschi

Shellfish Fricassee

'Impepata' is a southern Italian dialect word for a dish full of pepper, usually applied to a dish of black mussels, with a few other shellfish when available. I have suggested clams here, but some razor clams, if small enough, would be a delightful addition.

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Polenta Svelta con Gamberetti

Quick Polenta with Shrimps

A delightful and simple little dish from Venice, where the little pink shrimps of the lagoon taste very nice indeed.

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Spaghettini con Frutti di Mare

Seafood Spaghetti

Seafood pastas are basics of Italian gastronomy, but vary enormously from region to region: the spaghetti vongole from Naples, the Venetian black spaghetti with cuttlefish, pasta with mussels and limpets from Positano and spaghetti and sea urchins from Puglia. The most important thing to remember is that the seafood must be the very freshest possible. It is the liquid the clams or mussels produce in cooking that contributes enormously to the flavour.

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Tagliolini con Gamberetti

Tagliolini with Shrimp Sauce

The theme of pasta and fish is used endlessly in recipes from the coastal regions in Italy. This dish, with just its few ingredients of shrimps, garlic, tomatoes, parsley and basil, is a treat. You can use fresh home-made or bought fresh or dried pasta for this recipe. Tagliolini resembles very thin tagliatelle.

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Zuppa di Pesce

Fish Soup

This recipe of mine is merely one vision of the hundreds of fish soups that can be found in all Italian coastal towns, and is usually called "brodetto". It is a dish that can be tasty even if you have only a couple of kinds of fish to choose from. Monkfish, prawns and even mussels are ideal for this soup as they have a good flavour and do not disintegrate when cooked. If you can increase the proportions of fish, this soup can even become a main course.

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