This is one of my ultimate Spaghetti favourite. I was inspired to start making this from when i went to visit Italy. The first proper one i had was in a lovely small restaurant in Sienna. Did you know that Italians eat Spaghetti dishes as Starters? Well, i didn't! I remember being so naive about the portions too that i ordered this to start off with and followed by another favourite of mine, 'Ossobucco' for main. It was so lovely and fresh, with just the right amount of garlic and wine. It was so tasty. If i ever find myself back in Sienna, i would definitely hunt down this place.
I really wish i can remember the name of the restaurant. So i could share with you. I just remember it having a little outdoor area where i sat down and enjoyed the fashion go by and the sun was just slightly coming thru in between the buildings, kissing my cheeks very softly whilst i sip on a lovely wine. Oh, isn't it funny how i remember so vividly my experience with Spaghetti Alle Vongole some years ago yet i can't remember what i did last week?
Then, i went to Venice. Again, i can't remember the name of the restaurant. This is becoming a habit, i know. It's some years ago now. But i would definitely remember where it is if i ever go there again! So, i had the same dish but oh my gawd. I didn't know it could be even better! From then on, i was hooked.
Spaghetti Alle Vongole
As with all the dishes i cook, this is one of those that in all honesty, i abandon all measurements. I have this kind of relationship with food and cooking. I don't follow measures as i usually use my instinct. I let the visual and smell and taste guide me. Whenever there is a dish that i try and love, the taste guides me on what ingredients there are in that dish. If i love a dish, the flavours are ingrained in me and haunts me until i make it.
Don't panic however, as i will give you the recipe below. All i'm saying is that once you've made this the first time, it will be a breeze the second time. It's super easy.
The ones i use are white clams that have been pre-cooked and frozen which i buy from the fish market. I usually use a whole bag. This type of clams are not usually available fresh here that's why i use the frozen ones. You can use any type of small clams in shell too. It's the same cooking time.
This recipe is good for 2 people sharing for lunch.
spaghetti for 2 [half a packet] | 1 kilo white clams | 3 tbsp olive oil | 50gms butter | 2 cloves garlic [grated] | 1 small shallots [finely sliced] | a small bunch of curly parsley [finely chopped] | 250ml dry white wine | sea salt + crushed black pepper
Bring a pan of water to a boil and add your spaghetti. Cook until al dente. This should take roughly 8-10 minutes but do watch it as you don't want the spaghetti to over cook.
Whilst the Spaghetti is cooking, place a shallow pan to a medium heat. Place the olive oil and butter to the pan. As it heats thru, add the grated garlic and cook until just about golden. Then add the finely chopped shallots and cook until softened and slightly going brown. Add half of the chopped curly parsley to the pan and stir for 30 seconds then add the clams. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss the clams around the pan or stir through so you get all the flavours in the clams. Add the wine and put the lid on the pan. Let it gently simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Stirring occasionally and tasting, adding more salt + pepper as necessary. If the sauce is drying up, you can add a little water from the spaghetti.
By this time, the spaghetti should be cooked. Drain and add to the pan. Stir thru and add the other half of chopped parsley. Serve immediately with a very cold glass of white wine.