Spaghetti alle vongole

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INGREDIENTS (4 people)

360g spaghetti (or linguine)
1 kg clams
16 cherry tomatoes
3 anchovy fillets
100 ml dry white wine (optional)
3 garlic cloves, minced
Finely chopped parsley

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Basic Techniques needed:
Clams
How to cook pasta

Spaghetti alle Vongole is a very simple dish that will definitely impress your guests.
Follow this process and you will get the true taste of the sea:

  1.  Mince the garlic and chop the parsley
  2. Steam the clams (see Clams for details):
    Thoroughly wash the shells, discarding any broken ones
    Steam in a pan, lid on, until they open up
    Discard the shells that didn’t open
    Filter the liquid
  3. Shell about half of the clams, leaving the other half in the shell
  4. Peel the tomatoes: prick their skin with the tip of a knife and plunge them into the bolilng water in the pot you will use for the pasta, then put them in a bowl filled with cold (better iced) water;
  5. In 2 tbsp. olive oil, shallow fry the minced garlic on very low heat, being very careful it doesn’t get brown (burnt garlic will ruin your dish), about 1 minute, then add the anchovy fillets
  6. When the anchovy fillets have dissolved into the oil, add the liquid from the clams and 100 ml water or white wine if using it;
  7. Peel the tomatoes, quarter them and add them to the sauce; cook on low heat
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  8. When the liquid has reduced to 1/3, add the clams, including the shelled ones
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  9. Cook the pasta in plenty of salty water (see How to cook pasta)
  10. Add the sauce to the cooked pasta, sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and serve
    TIP: instead of cooking the pasta completely, drain it a couple of minutes before the cooking time indicated on the packaging and finish it off with the sauce, adding a few tbsp. of its cooking water to prevent it form becoming too dry; the pasta will absorb all the flavours. NOTE: in this case, add the clams at the very end to avoid overcooking them

Spaghetti ai Cannolicchi (Spaghetti with Razor Clams)

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INGREDIENTS (4 people)

360g spaghetti (or linguine)
12 razor clams
16 cherry tomatoes
3 anchovy fillets
100 ml dry white wine (optional)
1 tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
Finely chopped parsley
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Basic Techniques needed:
Razor Clams
How to cook pastaIf you are able to find razor clams (you will need to ask a real fishmonger, it’s not something you will find in a UK supermarket), this is a very quick and simply seafood pasta recipe that will not fail to impress your guests.

First, get organised:
Chop the onion (see How to chop an onion in Basics), mince the garlic and chop the parsley

When everything is ready, you can start cooking:

  1. Prepare the razor clams as below (see Razor Clams for details):
    Rinse them in running water
  2. Put them in a pan with a splash of water and cover
    Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the shells open up
    Once opened, discard the dark sac you will find in the middle of the clam
    Filter the liquid they have released as you will use it in your recipe
    Cut them in 1-inch pieces and then lengthwise
  3. Peel the tomatoes: prick their skin with the tip of a knife and plunge them into the bolilng water in the pot you will use for the pasta, then put them in a bowl filled with cold (better iced) water;
  4. Sweat the onion in 2 tbsp. olive oil for 4 minutes
  5. Add the garlic and the anchovy fillets and keep cooking on low heat
  6. When the anchovy fillets have dissolved into the oil, add the liquid from the clams and 100 ml water or white wine if using it;
  7. Peel the tomatoes, quarter them and add them to the sauce; cook on low heat
  8. When the liquid has reduced to 1/3, add the razor clams
  9. Cook the pasta in plenty of salty water (see How to cook pasta)
  10. Add the sauce to the cooked pasta, sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and serve
    TIP: instead of cooking the pasta completely, drain it a couple of minutes before the cooking time indicated on the packaging and finish it off with the sauce, adding a few tbsp. of its cooking water to prevent it form becoming too dry; the pasta will absorb all the flavours