Tagliatelle con Calamari e Moleche

Tagliatelle with Cuttlefish and Shrimp


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

The tails of the local shrimps are called moleche or molecche in the coastal areas of Le Marche, and are much sought after and greatly appreciated for their delicious sweetness. This is a very simple combination of tastes and textures, put together to create a sumptuous pasta dish. Using empty, clean scallop shells - known locally as scrigno di Venere (Venus’s casket) - is one way in which pasta dishes such as this one often get served in Le Marche and also further south along the same coastline in the Abbruzzi. It looks pretty, and the pasta stays wonderfully hot, but of course you can serve it in a standard bowl.


  • 120 ml/4 fl oz/½ cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • a pinch of crushed chilli flakes
  • 450 g/1 lb cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into small cubes
  • 275 g/10 oz raw shrimp tails or prawns/shrimp, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 175 ml/6 fl oz/¾ cup dry white wine
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 350 g/12 oz fresh tagliatelle
  • sea salt
  • a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped, to garnish


  1. Put the olive oil, garlic clove and chilli flakes into a pan and fry gently until the garlic is golden brown.
  2. Add the cuttlefish and shrimp tails or prawns, and stir together.

  3. Add the white wine, bring to the boil and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and stir well. Simmer for 5 minutes and season with salt.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the tagliatelle in a large pan of salted boiling water until al dente.

  6. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add the sauce and mix together gently. Serve immediately, sprinkled with parsley.