Pasta Gianpiero

About this recipe

My Uncle John makes this fish sauce for special holidays. Cuttlefish is like squid; it has a rubbery texture, so don’t be surprised if it takes an hour to chew. P.S. We first fry the cuttlefish separately to let the fish release its water.


Place a large frying pan on the stove; turn heat to just under medium and fry:

  • 4 tbsp. olive oil,
  • 1 cooking onion (diced),
  • 1 small carrot (diced), 1 stalk celery (diced),
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (minced, or added whole and removed before browning).

When the onion looks good, add:

  • 2 lb. cuttlefish (previously washed, cut up, and fried in olive oil for 10-15 minutes, and then drained),
  • 2-3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley,
  • 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. chili pepper (you can add more later if need be).
  • 1 cup white wine,
  • 1 oz. brandy (light on fire if you want to impress guests).

Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Then add:

  • 1 (10 oz.) can clams (drained through paper towel—save the water).

Cook another 5 minutes. Then add:

  • 1 lb. each of shrimp, scallops, and mussels,
  • 1 cup olive oil (use the good stuff).

Continue cooking until the mussels open up.


  • This recipe goes with 2 lb. pasta. Use spaghetti, spaghettini, or linguini.
  • When it comes to the type of brandy, don’t get carried away; use the cheap stuff.
    I don’t know what you do with the clam water—Uncle John just said to save it—maybe you're supposed to add to your clam aquarium?

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