Linguine alle Vongole

Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main

This dish is the perfect example of a Linguine alle Vongole, with thanks to our very own Jake Simpson, who after ten years of cooking up a storm at Soho’s favourite Italian Bocca di Lupo, is now heading up the restaurant at The Rectory in Wiltshire.

Ingredients

  • 200g linguine (or spaghetti)
  • 500g live clams (vongole verracci being the classic)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • A pinch of crushed chilli flakes
  • 100ml white wine
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

Method

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, and season it with 10g salt per litre.

When it is boiling fiercely, add the pasta, and stir immediately to stop it sticking.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan, then add half the oil and the garlic. Cook for 5 seconds only, and do not allow the garlic to colour, then add the clams. Saute for 30 seconds, until they start to spit a little, then add the chilli flakes, the chopped parsley & the wine. Cover with a lid and let cook for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time, until they are mostly open.

When the pasta is VERY al dente (3 minutes or so from being ready), add it to the clams, along with a little of the pasta cooking water, and the remaining olive oil. Cook together so that the pasta releases its starch into the clam juice, thickening it, and the clam juice is absorbed by the pasta, flavouring it. Add a little extra cooking water if necessary, until the past is al dente, and the sauce thickened and coating every strand.