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Fish-Based Pasta Sauces

Most of these sauces will also work very well with gnocchi or polenta. The categories aren't hard-and-fast, but should help you find what you're looking for. Notes on cooking and serving pasta.


Calamari Sauces
A pair of sauces made with squid, one with ink and one without.
Difficulty: Easy

Linguini with Anchovies: Linguine alle Acciughe
A zesty Neapolitan sauce that's among those traditionally served on Christmas Eve, though there's no reason to enjoy it only then.
Difficulty: Easy

Pasta with Salmon and Walnuts: Pasta Corta con Salmone e Noci
Pasta with smoked salmon is a standard romantic standby, which gains considerably from the addition of walnuts.
Difficulty: Easy

Pasta with Sardines: Pasta Cu li Sardi
Sicily's classic signature sauce features an unusual combination of sardines and fennel, all laced with pine nuts and raisins.
Difficulty: Moderate

Pasta with Smoked Salmon: Pasta al Salmone Affumicato
A classic Valentine's day recipe that's great any time, but especially nice when entertaining that special someone.
Difficulty: Easy

Reef Spaghetti: Spaghetti allo Scoglio
Reef pasta, with all sorts of seafood -- clams, mussels, shrimp and more.
Difficulty: Moderate

Spaghetti or Rice with Tunafish: Spaghetti o Riso al Tonno
A hearty tuna sauce that's perfect over pasta or rice.
Difficulty: Easy

Spaghetti with Clams: Spaghetti alle Vongole
Spaghetti with clam sauce -- the quintessential summer dish, perfect either at home or while camping.
Difficulty: Easy

Spaghetti with Clams Viareggio Style: Spaghetti con le Vongole alla Viareggina
Spaghetti with a slightly tomatoey clam sauce.
Difficulty: Easy

Other Fish Sauces

Bigoli with Salted Sardines: Bigoli co le Sardele Salae
Bigoli are the thick-stranded pasta of Venetian tradition, and this sauce, made with salted sardines, was standard both on Fridays and for Christmas Eve in Dalmatia.
Difficulty: Easy

Bigoli with Shellfish: Bigoli con Molluschi
A simple shellfish-based sauce for Bigoli, the classic thick-stranded pasta of the Veneto.
Difficulty: Easy

Bigoli for Good Friday: Bigoli per la Vigilia
A tasty Venetian Tuna sauce.
Difficulty: Easy

Butterflies with Scampi and Broccoli Florets: Farfalle con Scampi e Broccoletti
Broccoli and scampi are an inspired combination, and work beautifully in this sauce.

Capunìdde with Baccalà: I Capunìdde ch'u Baccalà
A tasty baccalà sauce for pasta on Christmas Eve.
Difficulty: Easy

Casarecce with Eggplant and Swordfish Sauce: Casarecce Con Ragù di Melanzane e Pesce Spada
Casarecce are simple, partially rolled pappardelle, and will work quite well with chunky sauces.
Difficulty: Easy

Cavatelli with Broccoli Raab, Scampi and Baby Cuttlefish: Cavatelli Con Cime di Rapa, Scampi e Calamretti
A tasty seafood-based pasta that reveals the Abruzzo Region's ties with Puglia.
Difficulty: Easy

Corkscrews with Leeks and Clams: Fusilli Con Porri e Vongole
Corkscrews with a delicate clam-and leek sauce.

Eggplant Gnocchi: Gnocchetti di Melanzana
Tasty gnocchi made with eggplant, and a zucchini-and-shrimp sauce to go with them that will also be nice over pasta.
Difficulty: Moderate

Gramma Rosi's Tuna Sauce
A tasty fish and garbanzo sauce for pasta that will easily work as a one-course meal.
Difficulty: Easy

Lined Penne with Salmon and Herbs: Penne Rigate al Salmone e Alle Erbe
There are many variations on salmon sauce. This is a little richer than most, and will be nice in an elegant meal.
Difficulty: Easy

Linguine with olive oil, garlic, parsley, pepper, clams and prawns: Pasta Atomica
Brad O'Connor's variation on Aglio e Olio is now featured in Milanese restaurants.
Difficulty: Easy

Lobster Basket: Cestino di Aragosta
Linguine with lobster sauce, the perfect centerpiece for a romantic meal.
Difficulty: Intermediate

Macaroni Diaz Style: Maccheroni alla Diaz
An extraordinary shellfish sauce!
Difficulty: Intermediate

Macaroni with Cuttlefish: Maccheroni con le Seppie
A bit more elegant than spaghetti, and just as easy.
Difficulty: Easy

Pappardelle with Mackerel: Pappardelle con gli Sgomberi
Broad strips of pasta with a chunky tomato and mackerel sauce.
Difficulty: Easy

Penne with Shrimp and Bell Peppers: Penne con Gamberi e Peperoni
The combination works quite well, and is also very refreshing.
Difficulty: Easy

Pasta with Sardines: Pasta Ccu Ri Sarde
Pasta with fesh sardines, a quick Calabrian recipe.
Difficulty: Easy

Pantacce with Zucchini, Scallops, and Shrimp: Pantacce con Zucchine, Capesante e Gamberetti
Pasta (pantacce) with a delicate zucchini, scallops, and prawns sauce.
Difficulty: Easy

Pipette with Shrimp Cream: Pipette Rigate con Crema di Scampi
Pipette with a creamy scampi sauce.
Difficulty: Easy

Spaghetti al Cartoccio
Pasta cooked in a packet with spices and herbs: A sensuous and romantic recipe ideal for two, and also the perfect way to astonish a group of friends.
Difficulty: Intermediate

Spaghetti al Cartoccio with Spicy Prawns: Spaghetti al Cartoccio con Gamberetti Piccanti
A simpler version for lovers of shrimp.
Difficulty: Moderate

Spaghetti al Cartoccio alla Vucciria
A libidinous version based on a painting by Renato Guttuso.
Difficulty: Intermediate

Spaghetti with Shellfish and Lots of Saffron: Spaghetti con Conchiglie, Cozze e… Tanto Zafferano
Unusual spaghetti with clams, mussels, and... Saffron.
Difficulty: Easy

Spaghetti with Bottarga: Spaghetti alla Bottarga
Pasta made with tuna roe, a surprisingly randy treat.
Difficulty: Easy

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes and Anchovies: Spaghetti Col Pomodoro Fresco e le Acciughe
A quick tomato sauce the gains pleasing zest from anchovies.
Difficulty: Easy

Spaghetti with Tunafish: Spaghetti Col Tonno
The marriage of spaghetti and tuna is quick and tasty. In this case there's also cheese and butter.
Difficulty: Easy

Spaghetti with Tuna Sauce, Spaghetti al Tonno
There are many many varieties of tuna sauce for pasta. This one is quick and tomatoey.
Difficulty: Easy

Spaghetti with Cuttlefish Calabria-Style: Spaghetti con le Seppie alla Calabrese
A simple, tasty way to make spaghetti.

Seafood Spaghettini: Spaghettini di Mare
A quick, easy seafood sauce with clams and shrimp in a tomato base.
Difficulty: Easy

Tagliatelle with Anchovies and Tuna: Tagliatelle con Acciughe e Tonno
Most tuna sauces also have tomato. But not this one.
Difficulty: Easy

Tagliatelline in Salmon Sauce: Tagliatelline al Salmone
Tagliatelline with smoked salmon are an immensely popular restaurant dish, and are also quite nice in a romantic meal.
Difficulty: Easy

Vermicelli Campolattaro Style I: Vermicelli alla Campolattaro I
A deft fish sauce featuring anchovies and tuna, for vermicelli.
Difficulty: Easy

Ziti with Sardines: Ziti con le Sarde
A simple pasta sauce made with tomatoes and salted sardines by the fishermen of the Marche.
Difficulty: Easy

If you haven't found what you're looking for, please ask!

Vegetable-based Sauces
Cream, Cheese and Oil-Based Sauces
Meat-Based Sauces

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