If you are craving shellfish, try this Fettuccine with Spicy Shellfish by Emeril Lagasse from the July 2012 issue of Food and Wine. The timing on this recipe is very forgiving, because the pasta is cooked, rinsed and then tossed with warm chile oil, cheese and basil. This flavours the pasta and keeps it from sticking together. You then quickly cook the remaining ingredients and reheat the pasta with cooking liquid before serving the pasta in bowls, topped with the seafood, broth, cheese and basil. This recipe also includes sausage, which adds heat and depth of flavour. Dry chorizo is called for, but I used crumbled hot Italian sausage instead and cooked it a little longer. I also used dried pasta, which worked fine.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients to watch out for are the cheese, sausage, clam juice and shrimp. Make sure the Parmigiano-Reggiano does not contain colour and that the sausage is all-natural. The clam juice should contain one ingredient: clam juice. Look for shrimp that is flash-frozen with nothing added, except perhaps salt.

Cook hot pepper flakes in oil for a few minutes.

Add chile oil, cheese and basil to the cooked pasta.

Saute the sausage for a few minutes until it is cooked and the fat has rendered.

Fettuccine with spicy shellfish


½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 pound fresh fettuccine

½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

¼ cup shredded basil leaves

6 ounces dry chorizo, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

1 large shallot, minced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 plum tomatoes—peeled, seeded and chopped

1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed

1 cup bottled clam juice

1 pound mussels, scrubbed

1 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp



In a small skillet, combine ¼ cup of the olive oil with the crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until it is barely al dente; drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Return the pasta to the pot and stir in the warm chile oil, ¼ cup of the cheese and 2 tablespoons of the basil.

In a very large, deep skillet, heat the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil. Add the chorizo and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered, about 2 minutes. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, clams and clam juice, cover and cook until the clams just begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the mussels, cover and cook until all the shells have opened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, season with salt and cook until pink and curled, about 2 minutes.

Using a ladle, transfer half of the liquid to the pasta in the pot and cook over high heat, tossing, until the pasta is al dente and heated through, about 2 minutes. Divide the pasta between bowls and spoon the shellfish all around. Ladle the broth on top and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of shredded basil and ¼ cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve right away. Serves 6.

From the July 2012 issue of Food and Wine