Seafood Linguine with Local Mussels, Shrimp and Ling Cod

In keeping with my exploration of west coast cuisine, I've tackled a never-before-used ingredient: mussels. I hope you'll give them a try for dinner too; they're quick and easy to cook and absolutely delicious in this tomato and garlic pasta

Credit: Catherine Roscoe Barr

Using fresh seafood is a must for this gorgeous seafood linguine with mussels

Let go of any reservations around cooking mussels. This gorgeous linguine with mussels, shrimp and ling cod is worth it!

We had friends over for dinner the other night and I wanted to wow them. I have the crazy habit of trying new things when I have company over. It’s exciting and terrifying not knowing how dinner will turn out, and I know we can always order pizza if it’s a big flop.

I feel like Julia Child would approve, as she once said, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

It usually tastes good in the end, but multitasking in the kitchen while entertaining guests isn’t one of my strong points, and it’s likely I will forget a step or ingredient, or make a huge mess.

I’m really embracing west coast cuisine and have been cooking lots of fish and seafood lately:

This meal was no exception, and I turned to one of my favourite new cookbooks for inspiration, That’s Amore: From Ricardo Scebba’s Mediterranean Kitchen (I made the delectable lobster pasta last month) and decided on the Linguine al Mare (seafood linguine).

Luckily it turned out well and I have not only a new recipe but also a new ingredient that I will definitely use again: mussels. 

I had never bought or cooked with mussels before that night, and had only ever eaten them a handful of times.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since moving to Vancouver, it’s go fresh or go home, so I headed to Granville Island’s Seafood City to pick up some fresh fish and seafood. I wanted to buy local products so I settled on Salt Spring Island mussels, local shrimp and local ling cod. 

I’ve learned the trick to cooking seafood is not overcooking it, and to always err on the side of underdone as it will continue to cook as you plate it.

The recipe called for cooking the seafood all together but I cooked the mussels in a separate pan and added first the fish and then the shrimp to the simmering tomato sauce to cook them.

Our friends brought a wonderful white wine, Anselmi’s San Vincenzo, which paired perfectly with dinner.

Below are the steps that I followed, which differ slightly from That’s Amore’s seafood linguine.


Serves 4

  • 2/3 of 450 g box linguine, cooked according to package instructions
  • 16 shrimp, shells and tails removed
  • 8 mussels
  • 400 g ling cod, cut into cubes
  • 1 large can tomato sauce
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 oz white wine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
  • Parsley to garnish


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook two cloves minced garlic in 1 tsp olive oil.
  2. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, stirring to combine.
  3. Cover and reduce to low.
  4. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  5. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook two cloves minced garlic in wine, butter and 2 tbsp olive oil.
  6. Add parsley and chili flakes, followed by mussels.
  7. Cover and reduce heat to medium, cooking until shells open, about 5 minutes.
  8. With two minutes of mussel cooking time remaining, add cod to tomato mixture, stirring well to combine.
  9. Add shrimp one minute later and cook for one minute. 
  10. Drain pasta, gently toss with tomato mixture, and serve topped with mussels and parsley mixture, and fresh parsley to garnish.