August 30, 2009
Spaghetti con le vongole – spaghetti with clams, a specialty from the region of Campania – is one of the easiest Mediterranean dishes you can think of. This is my favorite version of the dish, called in bianco because no tomatoes are added. With this dish, tasting the flavors of the Mediterranean Sea is guaranteed!
1 lb spaghetti (or vermicelli)
2 lbs small clams
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
Discard any clams with broken shells or any clams that are open and that do not close when you firmly try to close them with your fingers. Rapidly wash the clams and then let them soak in abundant cold and salted water for at least 1 hour (you can let the clams soak in the fridge overnight).
In a saucepan, heat 4 Tbsp of olive oil. After you begin to cook the pasta, add the garlic to the saucepan with the heated olive oil and sauté the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the clams and some salt and pepper. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the clams cook for about 3-4 minutes, until all the clams are open. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and toss it over the clams. Add some parsley and 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Give a quick stir and serve.
Mediterranean clams are tiny and flavorful. In North America, use Manila clams.