Spaghetti alle vongole (or spaghetti with clams) is one of my favorite Italian pasta dishes.
An Italian traditional dish, a simple and elegant pasta dish made al bianco with clams, olive oil, garlic, a little chili pepper and a bit of parsley, that’s it! No tomatoes, no red sauce, no tomato sauce.
As with any self-respecting Italian recipe, there are quite a few recipes for Spaghetti with vongole.. spaghetti with clams and tomatoes and those without (“bianco”).
I love the simplicity of dish, the clam and pasta accompaniment is light and simple.
The delicate flavor of the clams is perfectly balanced with garlic, chilli and white wine.
Spaghetti vongole is a light dish that should be kept as simple as possible – if you’re using fresh clams, it’s a shame to lose them in a maelstrom of other flavours.
Garlic and red chili pepper are softened in a pan, and then joined by clams and white wine, and left to steam away for a couple of minutes.
This is my favorite version, the very essence of an Italian summer’s evening.
It’s perfect for a quick supper because it’ll be on your dinner table in just 15 min!
Note: The secret to this dish is to make sure the clams are properly cleaned, so there is no grit. Just buy your clams a day or two ahead of time and soak them in plenty salted water until the clams are completely clean and soaking water is free of sand.
It is also important that the pasta is al dente , as you continue to cook the dish when you toss the pasta with the clams.
|Spaghetti alle vongole|| |
- 1kg clams
- 400gr spaghetti (or linguine)
- 1small bunch fresh flat leaf parsley
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 red chili pepper
- 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Rinse the clams in cold running water, put them into a large bowl, cover with cold water and add 1 tbsp of salt.
- Keep them in salted water for at least 2 hours (this will help release any remaining sand).
- Drain and rinse well to remove any grit or sand.
- If necessary, repeat the scrubbing process until the clams are completely clean and water is free of sand.
- Put the clams in a large frying pan, cover them with a lid, put them on a medium-high flame and wait until they open, 3 to 5 minutes.
- When the clams have opened, discard any unopened, remove them with a slotted spoon, filtering the cooking sauce and keep it aside.
- Meanwhile, peel and mince the garlic, heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and sauté the garlic and minced red chili pepper.
- Add the cleaned clams and white wine.
- When the wine is completely evaporated add the filtered cooking sauce and mix well, season with salt and pepper to taste and put the fire off.
- In the meantime, in a large pot of salted water cook the pasta “al dente” (Set the timer for 2 mins less than the package instructions specify because it will finish cooking together with the clams.),
- Drain the spaghetti, add to the clams and the chopped parsley, mix it well and cook it on a slow flame for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oli and freshly ground pepper.