It is only fair that the very first recipe I actually publish here is Spaghetti alle Vongole. Spaghetti with clams, in plain English, is to die for. My favorite of all spaghetti dishes. I first got to try this dish 34-35 years ago when I found myself in Crotone, a port town in Calabria. I’m not sure why I ordered the vongole that evening. I must have been feeling daring since I did not know what to expect. Once I took that first bite though, I was hooked for life.
Spaghetti alle vongole being a Neapolitan dish, I wasn’t to far off target for my first taste of the delicious sauce that conveys flavors and perfumes of the sea to the pasta. Many families of the region may consider this a Sunday dish, but better yet, you can consider it for a Christmas or New Years supper. I on the other hand, have dedicated this dish to my personal New Years dinner, meaning that I make a point of eating it on my birthday.
The recipe is below if you want to give it a try… I have to admit I make this dish more than I admit above, and I really don’t stick to my recipes.
Spaghetti alle Vongole
The spaghetti alle vongole is a relatively easy dish to make. Depending on where your clams come from, they may be more salty than others, so you might want to balance it with the salt you add to the pasta water.
- 1 Kg vongole (clams)
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- black pepper
- 320 grams spaghetti
To start, you need to clean the clams, and make sure there aren't any broken, empty, or open ones. So, pick them out. Tap them gently on the counter or cutting board to make sure the don't have sand in them. The clams that have sand in them will open up.
Place the clams in a colander and rinse them. Then place the colander in a pot with water and salt generously with rock salt. You will have to recreate some sort of sea water. Allow the clams to soak for a couple or so hours.