Spaghetti alle vongole (clams)

Everything that was posted before was an anticipation, a long antipasto. For weeks, I forced myself not to write this recipe, yet. It had to wait, it had to arrive at the right time. After a few dishes that came out, and as the sunny days on the beach in front of the ocean are approaching, the mistery can be revealed! This is by far Lou’s favorite dish on earth (and she hasn’t tried it in Italy, yet!). She just loves it. We all love it. It is a reminder of the ocean, the good vibes with friends and family. It transports us into a mystic world where life, all of the sudden, has a deeper sense! Of course, we have not invented this, and I will never touch the RECIPE, the way my Grandma, my dad Maurizio and all the great cooks do it! We want to offer you a few detailed steps so you can appreciate with us the magnitude and power of this dish!

Ingredients:

  • 200g of spaghetti (thickness – n*12)
  • 20 clams ( if using the bigger ones that are found in the U.S.) or 500g of clams (if buying the “voraci,” the small ones)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive (EVO) oil
  • 1 teaspoon of grounded chill pepper (less if you like things less spicy)
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • j.e. fresh parsley
  • a touch of vinegar

1. Start by making sure the clams do not have sand; one single clam with sand in it could ruin the entire dish! First of all, start by slamming each clam agaist a hard surface (like the sink). The clams that have sand should open as you beat them against the sink. Next, put all the clams that are still closed in a bowl filled with cold water. Add some salt in the water and leave the clams there for about 1-2 hours to get rid of all the remaing sand. Rinse the clams and throw away the ones that are open. Ready to start!

2. Get a big fry pan or a wok (that’s what we use). Start your soffritto to give that magical flavors to the dish. Add 1 cup of EVO oil, diced garlic and grounded chili pepper. Turn on the flame and let it go unitl the diced garlic becomes golden and you start smelling joy!

3. Bring a large stock pot filled with water to boil. DO NOT add too much salt since the clams are already very salty! Throw your spaghetti in the boiling water.

4. Throw your clams in the wok, add the white wine, and a touch of vinegar. Put the lid on and let the clams cook. They won’t need long. As soon as they start opening and you start seeing a creamy sauce, and the smell of wine has disapperead (alcohol needs to evaporate), turn it off and wait for the pasta to cook.

5. Check your pack of pasta. 2/3 minutes before the suggested cooking time for al dente, turn on the flame of your wok with the clams in it, and carefully transfer all your spaghetti into it. The flame under the wok now should be medium/high to allow a nice ripassata. Add some water from the stock pot and occasionally mix everything. Try a spaghetto, and if ready and the cream is on point, turn off the flame, add a touch of fresh EVO oil and mix.

6. Your spaghetti is now ready. Plate them. Scoop some of the flavorful sauce at the bottom of the wok and put it on top of the spaghetti. Finally, add a little of fresh parsley on top. Enjoy it!

Can anyone tell if Lou is happy enough?!

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