SPAGHETTI ALLE VONGOLE for 2Regular price £14.00
Spaghetti alle vongole! What heaven. If ever there was a dish so worthy of the smiles even its mention brings, this is it. When in Italy, I go to the fish markets of Gaeta, just up the coast from Sperlonga, for the finest clams; in London, they are brought to me straight from Italy – and I in turn send them straight to you.
My trick is (a) lots of oil – half in the cooking and half at the end (b) clams, garlic and oil go in to a hot dry pan all at the same time and (c) no wine. Oh, and (d): really, really good clams and really, really good spaghetti.
Your pack serves 2 and contains:
- Gentile Spaghetti; the finest dried pasta I have tasted
- Clams, with some sliced garlic & a few chilli flakes
- Some parsley, chopped
- Plenty of fantastic olive oil
- Have ready a big pot of boiling, well-salted (10g/litre) water
- Put the spaghetti on to boil – they take 8 minutes
- Put half of the oil in with the clams, garlic & chilli, ready to add them in one fell swoop later, to the pan
- 4 minutes before the pasta is cooked, set a wide frying pan or casserole over a very high heat
- When its smokin’ hot, add – all at once –clams, garlic, chilli and oil
- Shake the pan a bit. Depending on the width of the pan relative to the volume of clams you may want to cover it for a minute or two, but the goal is for the clams to all open, and their juices to reduce to a scant couple of tablespoonsful.
- It is ok to cover the pan for some of the time or to add a dash of pasta cooking water, if it gets too dry. Conversely, if there is what looks like a puddle of water in the bottom, crank up the heat and evaporate it
- When the pasta is al dente – just a tad less cooked than you like – drain it, reserving some more of the water just in case
- Add the pasta to the clams, along with the chopped parsley and remaining oil
- Cook over the heat, stirring to coat the pasta and thicken the sauce.
- You can still adjust it by adding water (if too dry), oil (if unsure), or cooking longer together (if too wet or the pasta too crunchy for you)
- Taste for seasoning, and serve immediately