Spaghetti with Clams, Mussels and Shrimp

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Spaghetti with Clams, Mussels and Shrimp

Italians love pasta and seafood together!  This is a great dish to dazzle your spouse or enjoy family style right out of the pan.



  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 dozen mussels, scrubbed
  • 1 1/2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups marinara sauce or 2 (14oz) cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 3/4 pound medium shrimp—shelled, deveined
  • Sea salt (1 tablespoon for cooking spaghetti and more for seasoning)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil and some for garnish
  • Ingredients for Marinara Sauce
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans of whole tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bunch fresh basil (take off the stem)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Bring the wine to a boil in a large sauté pan. Add the mussels, cover and cook over high heat until they open, about 2 minutes. Carefully transfer the mussels to a bowl. Add the clams to the sauté pan cover and cook until they start to open. Transfer them to the bowl with the mussels.

  2. Pour the cooking liquid into a small glass measure, leaving behind any grit. Shell some of the mussels and clams and return them to the bowl.

  3. In a medium sauce pan heat oil over low heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper and the marinara sauce and increase the heat to medium. Let cook for about 5-8 minutes. Add the reserved shellfish cooking liquid and simmer over moderate heat until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes.

  4. In a large pot boil water and add at least a tablespoon of sea salt. Add spaghetti and cook 2 minutes less than the box directions. You want it to be al dente.

  5. Add the shrimp to the sauce and cook for 1 minute. Then add the clams and mussels.

  6. Drain the spaghetti and return it to the pot. Add the seafood sauce and toss to coat.

  7. Season with salt and black pepper and transfer to a warmed bowl.

  8. Sprinkle with the basil and serve immediately.

  9. Directions for Marinara Sauce:

    In a blender, combine the tomatoes and the basil. Puree, then set aside.

  10. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion first, then the garlic and sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes.

  11. Add tomato puree, oregano and basil then bring to a slight boil (about 3 minutes), then add the sugar then cover and decrease to simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.

  12. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

  13. If you are using it within a few days, then store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Freeze for future use.

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