FOR many of us, the season of Lent is a time of year when we give up one of our vices – like chocolate or cigarettes – for 40 days in the run-up to Easter.

Even for those of us who are not religious, Lent is a matter of personal principle, a time to practice self control and to strive to live healthier lives... even if this commitment only lasts up to the moment when we break out the Easter eggs and hot cross buns!

Known as Quaresima in Italy, Lent is the word Catholics use to describe the fast between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

Despite many recent changes, Italy is still a very Catholic country, and while various regions practice Lent differently, most people will give up luxuries – and if there’s one thing many Italians love, it is meat.

Devout Catholics in Italy will abstain from eating meat every Friday throughout Quaresima, and on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday (until midday) before Easter Sunday.

It is on these days the fish cuisine is really celebrated, and the dishes can often get very extravagant, with ingredients ranging from lobster, crayfish, crab, eel and many more creatures.

So, with meat off the menu for those who are fasting, this seemed like the perfect time to share with you our recipe for Linguine Frutti Di Mare.

The different recipes for Linguine Frutti Di Mare, which translates into English as ‘fruit of the sea’, can vary from region to region in Italy, as the seafood used is often dictated by the area in which it is made.

One thing is for sure, though, all authentic Frutti Di Mare recipes will call for a generous splash of white wine.

For seafood aficionados, Linguine Frutti Di Mare is a dream because it boasts a myriad of seafood flavours. Our recipe makes use of mussels, clams, scallops and king prawns, all of which are brought together in one delicious pasta dish.

The great thing about this recipe is that, if there is a particular type of seafood you are not fond of, no problem, you can leave it out or substitute it for something else. It is extremely flexible.

This is a dish that is not only very filling, but looks impressive too. Because of it’s tempting appearance, it is perfect for occasions when you have company and you want to wow them with something that looks and tastes great.

I would recommend you always try and use fresh fish from your local fishmonger or supermarket, as most recipes for Frutti Di Mare tend not to be heavy in tomato sauce, but light with a hint of garlic and white wine.

The idea is not to overpower the delicate flavours of the fish, which also means the quality and freshness of the fish is paramount.

The cooking time for this recipe is about 20 minutes and it isn’t very difficult, but the final outcome is sublime and out of this world!