Pasta alle vongole is one of my favourite pasta dishes: simple, stylish and delicious. Even the children seem to like it as large red chilies often contain very little heat. No need to add any extra salt apart from in the pasta water, the clams are salty enough. Do not serve with cheese as this pasta contains chili and fish.
- 1kg clams, cleaned and drained
- 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large red chili, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch \ 1 x 30g packet of flat leaf parsley
- 75ml white wine or dry white vermouth
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- 300g spaghetti or linguine
Clean the clams in a sink or large bowl of cold water. Leave for a few minutes then drain well.
Finely chop the garlic and chili and coarsely chop the flat leaf parsley. Set aside.
Heat a large saucepan of boiling, well-salted water for the pasta. Heat a high-sided sauté or frying pan with a lid for the clams.
Have all ingredients and guests ready then add the pasta, mixing well to coat each strand of pasta with water so they don’t stick together.
Add the clams to the hot sauté pan, add the vermouth and cover with a lid. Cook for about 1 minute until all the clams have opened and drain in a colander over a bowl to collect the juice.
Add the oil to the sauté pan and cook the garlic and chili briefly, then add the parsley, and the clam juice, reserving any sediment. Cook the juice for a few minutes to concentrate flavours, then check the pasta is ‘al dente’. Drain the pasta well and add to the clam juice and add the clams at the last minute, mixing the pasta off the heat. Serve immediately, dividing up the pasta and then the clams for easiest results. Pour any remaining juice over each dish.
© Sophie Braimbridge