Spaghetti alle Vongole

One of my favorite things about Italy is, without question, the bowls and bowls of delicious pasta the country has to offer from the castles in Pordenone to the seaside towns in Sicily. Interestingly enough, I first had spaghetti alle vongole at my favorite Italian restaurant, le Caruso, in Paris {3 rue de Turenne 75004} last year right near my apartment at Saint Paul. So during our weekly "Pasta Sunday" dinners a few weeks back, I decided to tackle this recipe. I ended up adapting a recipe from Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home cookbook and adding cherry tomatoes because as my Nonno always said- a meal isn't complete until it has the colors of the Italian flag in it.

Spaghetti alle Vongole (adapted from Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home)
(serves 4)
1 pound spaghetti (De Cecco is my favorite)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced (I added more than the original recipe)
1/2 teaspoon red-hot chili flakes (add according to how spicy you like things)
1 1/2 pounds of cleaned littleneck clams
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pints cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
parmesan cheese for seasoning (I know I am breaking a cardinal Italian rule by adding cheese to pasta with seafood- my relatives always cringe in Italy, but I think it adds a good flavor)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil (add a pinch of salt before boiling)
Add the box of spaghetti to the water once it's boiled.
Drain pasta 2 minutes before specified package directions cooking time, reserving one cup of the pasta water.  Set it aside.

In a medium-sized pot, heat olive oil, garlic, and chili flakes over medium heat, stirring constantly as not to burn the garlic.  Add the clams and wine bringing them to a boil.  Cover and cook, shake the pan around until the clams have opened (after about 3-4 minutes.)  Throw out any clams that didn't open.  Add in the sliced cherry tomatoes and cook until they maintain a softer consistency.  Add in the chopped parsley.  Transfer this mixture to a bowl.  

Turn the medium-sized pot back on and add the reserved pasta water and lemon juice reducing it slightly (about 3 minutes cooking time.) Turn off heat and whisk butter into mixture.  Add the cooked clams and spaghetti and cook for a few more minutes until al dente.  Transfer to a large bowl, add salt and pepper.  

No comments:

Post a Comment