The famous linguini di mare from Olympia Cafe

This linguine with mixed seafood is inspired by one of my favourite restaurants, Olympia Cafe in Kalk Bay.  It’s a dish they have had on their menu forever, and it’s the one I tend to eat every time I go there.

On my most recent visit after a few prying questions, we managed to get an overview of the recipe from the waitress. So this is my attempt to emulate one of my favourite pasta dishes.

There is no real accuracy here and this is meant as an inspirational recipe. On the whole, and in my life prior to becoming a blogger (PB), I would cook from intuition, especially when it came to pasta. I feel that pasta dishes are so very easy to make which is why I have included so few on my blog.

The part about this recipe that I found interesting is that the tomato sauce is roasted vs cooked slowly on the stove. It does however use fresh tomatoes which unfortunately in the case of this country is not necessarily a good thing. The specimens that we buy in our supermarkets are fairly tasteless and either too watery or too dry.

A far cry from the tomatoes you will find in warm Mediterranean countries which are sweet, red and juicy you can eat them exactly as is, like you would an apple. It is one of the biggest highlights for me when I travel to parts of Europe, to indulge in ‘real’ tomatoes. Thus, using tinned Italian tomatoes is very often a much better solution.

In an attempt to get a tomato as tomato-ey as possible, I choose the best I can find and then allow it to ripen at room temperature until just about to turn. Never store tomatoes in the fridge until they have reached the maximum degree of ripening that they will get to.

I made a lot more sauce than was required for the dish, but I love having delicious homemade tomato sauce on hand, which I then jar, or pop into the freezer for future use.

To make this sauce I used:

  • 1.5kgs tomatoes ripened and roughly chopped (quartered)
  • about 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 2-3 celery stalks roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • a couple of glugs of olive oil
  • a generous sprinkling of salt 

How to make it:

  • place all of the above in a baking tray with sides and tightly seal it with foil
  • bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350 for 2 hours
  • turn off the oven and leave the tomatoes in until it has cooled if you like
  • when they are cooled, blend to a fine sauce

This forms the basis of the sauce for the pasta.

I made this in the way they would the restaurant, by individual portions, but you could make a bigger pot.

Boil linguine until al dente and cool, drain and set aside until needed.

For the seafood part, cook a selection of line fish and shellfish. I pan-fried in olive oil.  I used some of the freshly speared yellowtail I had on hand and prawns. At Olympia they include mussels, but I couldn’t find any at the time I made this.

Chop up a few capers (or keep them whole), fresh garlic and green chilli. Fry this lightly in a pan, and add the pre-cooked fish and a few olives (either whole or halved). Pour in a splash of white wine and allow to cook briefly.

To this add a ladle of the tomato sauce, heat through and then add a dash of cream. You could let this caramelise a bit or even flambe it to give it that signature flavour the restaurant has.

Add the cooked pasta, heat and serve.

Sprinkle over chopped fresh parsley or chives and Parmesan cheese (optional as traditionally cheese would not be served with seafood, but I do like a bit). 

I am not sure if I got it exactly as good as Olympia, but the essence of the dish is there. Play around and season to your taste.

So delicious with a crisp dry sauvignon blanc and some crunchy white bread.


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  1. I am so hungry and this looks SO yummy. Will be making this soon!

  2. Kimberley says:

    Yummy!!! Love seafood pastas!

  3. This looks INSANELY good Sam! Wow!

  4. Your photos are just exquisite, you make that pasta dish just pop off the screen! Thanks for this wonderful recipe 🙂

  5. Thank you so much Zabwan!

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