Spaghetti Alle Vongole Bianco
Fresh is always best but many fishmongers keep bags of small clams in the deep freeze. They can also be bought online and delivered frozen (www.thefishsociety.co.uk). Once the clams have been scrubbed, rinsed and drained, the shallots, garlic and parsley chopped, the dish takes moments to cook. It’s one of those one-pot three stagers: first pasta, then sauce, then the two together. Have crusty bread and butter on hand to soak up the gorgeous juices, and a bottle of chilled white wine. This is also good, incidentally, with a peeled, seeded and diced tomato added with the parsley. It then becomes spaghetti alle vongole.
|300g||spaghetti or spaghettini|
|½||small red chilli, optional|
|2||cloves of garlic|
|4 tbsp||olive oil|
|150ml||dry white wine|
Scrub the clams with a nail-brush, then rinse in a couple of changes of water until the water remains clear. Discard any clams with cracked shells. Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water in a wide-based pan until it is al dente. Drain, then tip it into a warmed bowl and cover with a stretch of clingfilm.
Finely chop the chilli, discarding the seeds. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Peel the garlic and slice it into thin rounds. Pick the leaves off the parsley stalks and chop the leaves. Heat half of the olive oil in the pan and gently soften the shallots, chilli and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the wine, simmer to reduce by half, then put in the clams. Cook briskly for 2 to 3 minutes until all the clams are open, discarding any that remain closed. Add the spaghetti and parsley, toss together and pour over the last of the olive oil. Serve immediately.