Spaghetti Vongole all the way from Venice
Just back from a wonderful trip exploring Northern Italy’s amazing culinary pastiche. We had a lovely dinner at the Trattoria Alla Madonna (if you are ever in Venice you must try it! www.ristoranteallamadonna.com) in Venice. Their Spaghetti Vongole was the best I have ever tasted! Here’s is my version of that classic recipe for you to try! Buon Appetito!
500g/1lb very small fresh clams, or a small jar of clams in brine
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp anchovy paste
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
450g/1lb dried spaghetti
- Scrub the clams, discarding any that stay open when tapped sharply.
- Place the clams into a pan over a high heat.
- Add two tablespoons of water, cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until all the shells have opened.
- Discard any clams which have not opened after five minutes.
- Remove the clam flesh from the shells and dip them quickly into their cooking water to rinse off any sand.
- Strain the clam juices from the pan through a sieve lined with muslin or kitchen paper and save the liquid.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat.
- Add the garlic and fry until the garlic begins to colour, then add the anchovy paste and parsley and stir-fry for about 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and the strained clam juices (if you are using a jar of clams, use the brine from the jar).
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions and drain.
- When ready to serve, add the clam flesh to the tomato sauce and stir well.
- Mix the sauce into the cooked spaghetti.
- To serve, spoon the sauce and spaghetti into bowls.
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