Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spaghetti alla Vongole

Another delicious dish that can be placed on the table in less than 30 minutes from getting home. I reckon this is one of my favourite pasta dishes and I am surprised every time I cook it that I don’t do so more often.

I add cream to mine which is anything but regulation and would have me tarred and feathered in Sicily but hey ho. If you are feeling very adventurous also add two plum tomatoes that have been peeled and seeded and chopped fine. Also try pancetta.

You will need:

1 kg clams
4 cloves garlic, crushed chopped roughly
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 red chilli chopped fine or ½ tsp chilli flakes
250ml white wine
360g spaghetti
A good sized handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped roughly
30g butter
2 tbsp EV olive oil
2 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

And then you need to:

First up put a large pan of salted water on to boil. As soon as a good rolling boil has been reached throw in the pasta and cook per instructions.

Wash the clams well in lots of running water and drain in a colander.

In a large heavy based pan (with a lid) melt the butter and olive oil over a gentle heat and then lightly fry the garlic, onions and chilli (and tomatoes and pancetta if using)

Once the onions are translucent, increase the heat slightly and throw in the clams, the wine, the cream and the lemon juice. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Discard any clams that haven’t opened fully.

Drain the pasta and tip it into the pan with the clams. Chuck in the parsley. Give it all a really good stir and shake around to really coat the pasta and then serve either in four bowls or one large one for everyone to dig into.

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