Spaghetti Alle Vongole

Simple and really tasty, this quick meal sure hits the spot! Traditionally done with spaghetti, I opted to use linguini this time. Italians prepare this dish two ways. Bianco as presented, or rosso, with tomatoes and fresh basil, which is commonly served in the southern region. Just a few reminders for making this dish. Since we are working with very few ingredients, it is best to get fresh clams. I find that soaking them in water for an hour or two removes the unwanted “soil” in them. It cleans out and leaves better flavor and texture. Another is the wine. I strongly suggest to cook only with wine that you enjoy drinking as it carries the flavor through the dish. I definitely do not recommended sweet wine – I once attended a dinner party and one of the dishes served was SWEET vongole. (I sure hope it was just the wine and they didn’t add sugar in it). It was an experience I will never forget!

 

Yield: Serves 4 or 1 hungry Miguel plus Mom (see About).

 

*Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 kilos (3 pounds) hard shell clams
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • salt
  • 1 pack spaghetti (or linguini)
  • flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

 

*Directions:

Heat a large (or deep) pan over medium heat. Warm the garlic and pepper flakes in olive oil until soft and aromatic. This takes about a minute.

Add clams, clam juice, and wine. Cover and simmer over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally until all the clams are open. Discard unopened clams. (Do not force open them as they are not edible). Note: If you’re pan is not large enough, you may do them in batches. 

While the clams are simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook as directed. 

Transfer cooked pasta to a large bowl. Add clams and sauce and sprinkle chopped parsley. Toss well and serve immediately. Enjoy!