CLAY POT PASTA – some things just get better with age

Hi there,

When I was a young mother and first moved into our new home, my husband and I were invited to dinner by our neighbor, Angela.

Angela was a triple threat. She was an excellent cook, an exercise instructor (i.e., perfect figure), and a beautiful, kind woman.

So, I was pretty nervous about going to her house for dinner. It turns out that I had every right to be intimidated by her accomplishments. When we entered Angela’s home, we were met by the most enticing aroma. Our stomaches were soon rumbling with the message “feed me”. When we sat down to eat, Angela presented the source of that enticing aroma. She had prepared sea food pasta in a clay pot. I never heard of this cooking method, but I was determined to find out about it. After much research, I discovered that this was an old Eutruscan method of preparing food.

Now I am sure your understood my feelings of inadequacy. Who, I would ask you, in their 30’s prepares a meal in an ancient Eustruscan vessel????

But true to her nature, Angela generously share this recipe. Although you have to buy a unique cooking pot, it is worth the investment. This pasta dish became the main course at our home on Christmas Eve when we celebrated the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Or, as my son David named it, The Feast of the Seven Crustaceans.

Angela’s Clay Pot Pasta


  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic paste
  • 4 cups of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • a pinch of chili peppers
  • 1 lb of clam meat
  • 1lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup of brandy
  • 3 tablespoons of butter melted
  • 1 lb of penne pasta


  1. Sauté the pepper, parsley, garlic, basil, oregano and chili flakes in the olive oil
  2. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes
  3. Blanche the pasta (half the cooking time)
  4. Combine the pasta, clam meat, shrimp, and red sauce
  5. Put into the clay pot
  6. Pour the brandy and melted butter over top
  7. Cook at 450 degrees for approximately 1 and 1/2 hours

Special Note: The recipe above is the one that Angela gave to me. In the picture above you can see that I added some sautéed zucchini at the end. If using a clay pot be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions prior to use. If you don’t want to invest in a clay pot, this can be made in a cocotte pan or cast iron pan.

I hope you enjoy Angela’s recipe as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you.

Talk soon, ❤️💕 Bernadette

36 responses to “CLAY POT PASTA – some things just get better with age”

      • Welcome. I wasn’t sure since seafood contains a certain amount of salt itself, but like with fruit juice if stretched with water one has to add some sugar to keep it tasty. Glad i could help. Will definitely try this one. 👍

  1. Oh my goodness. What a meal this must have been – with the 7 crustaceans!!! When we were in Monterosso, Italy, we had a seafood dinner cooked in an amphora – a tall clay vessel, almost like a giant vase, without a lid. The amphora sat in a fireplace and when done, it was emptied into a large bowl. And then we feasted. One of my favorite food memories!

  2. This dish sounds amazing. I don’t have a clay pot, nor do I know where I can get one fast, but I think I might be able to modify this dish a little. Will have to eliminate the Brandy as my hubby is a coffee totaler and would know if I put it in. I love that you have so many unusual recipes that you share. Will let you know how it comes out, maybe with pictures. Thanks for posting.

    • A lot of people are saying they are going to use their cast iron pot. Please take a picture if you make it. Do you have a family recipe you want to share?

  3. This looks delicious!! I had a clay pot for years and sold them in the kitchen stores I managed. But I left mine with my daughter when I moved to Spain. I know she will make good use of it. I probably can find one here. Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Well, I would love to have the recipe. Do you have a story to tell (which I am sure you do because you are a very good writer)? Send it to me at newclassicrecipes@

  4. Wow this sounds delicious! I have a clay pot but it won’t hold all of these ingredients. It’s more like the size of a small bread pan. I haven’t used it in a long time but I remember the pot had to soak in water before using it. Thanks for sharing her recipe!

      • Yes!!! I would absolutely love to do that!! What an absolutely fun idea!! How do we connect so I can give you my art images related to my olla recipe?!

      • I will happily do a recipe and a story along with photos and images of the hand drawn recipe in my sketchbook! Thank you!!

      • I have just sent you 4 emails. 1 email tells what I will send you. The remaining 3 emails have my text (with links), photos and artwork in them. Please let me know if you’re able to see everything. Thank you again! I look forward to hearing from you!!

      • Hi sue,

        I am away right now with only a phone. When I get back to my computer in the next few days, I will open everything and let you know how it all looks. I am sure it will be great


        Sent from my iPhone


  5. Great! Thank you! I will work on sending you something soon!! I will also send you a test email to make sure I have your email correctly. Thank you again!!

    • I was following you forever and then somehow I lost the link. Yesterday, I realized you were only showing up in my reader. Love your posts.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

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