Linguine Alle Vongole
This pasta dish transports me to my beloved Napoli, every time I make it.
I remember my nonno Pasquale coming home on Sundays, with bags full of fresh fish, that he bought 'al mercato'.
He would plop them on the table, and say:" Adriá vir c'aggia accattat!" That's Neapolitan dialect for:"Adriana look what I bought!" And my nonna would be so happy!
My job was always to clean the calamari or to gut the little fish, even at 6 years old!
I wasn't very fond of the job, but I loved being part of the cooking process! So much love, so much skill and passion involved in preparing the simple, yet spectacular feasts!
Plus I was always recognized for my small, yet important contribution.
"Brava Rosy" everyone would say. I felt such pride. You see, how could I not become who I am today? It is in my DNA! I am a lover of food, family, culture and tradition, so today I want to share one of my favorite recipes with you.
I really hope you give it a try!
INGREDIENTS FOR 2 SERVINGS
-1 kg clams, the smaller the better
-200 gr bronze die pasta
-1/2 cup EVOO
-1 cup halved ripe grape/cherry tomatoes
-2 garlic cloves
-1/2 cup white wine
-Lots of fresh Italian parsley
-Chili pepper optional, but absolutely recommend
-Salt to taste
1. Rinse clams multiple times and keep them in cold salted water in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight so they purge
2. When ready to use, rinse them again until water is clear
3. Turn the heat on the pasta pot on high. Use a smaller pot so water is starchier.
4. Heat halt the oil in a wide pan. Add a few parsley stems, a small chili and a smashed garlic clove
5. Add the clams, cover with a lid and once in a while shake the pan to move the clams around
6.Once the clams start opening, remove them from the pan, one at a time. If some do not open, discard them
7. Strain the juice left in the pan through a wet and squeezed coffee filter or paper towel and reserve
8. In the same pan, add the other half of the oil, the tomatoes, garlic and chili, and cover
9. Start cooking the pasta. Add the wine, and reserved clam juice to the pan.
10. Try the sauce and season with salt if necessary.
11. Once pasta is half cooked, add it to the pan with a ladel of pasta water and stir
12. Keep stirring and adding pasta water as necessary
13. Once pasta is al dente, add the shelled clams, minced parsley and stir for a few seconds.
14. Turn heat off and plate!
15. Garnish with a few reserved clams in the shell, more parlsey and a drizzle of EVOO.