make: linguine with clams

LINGUINE WITH CLAMS

She says: This yummy Italian pasta dish, also known as ‘spaghetti alle vongole’ originates from Naples and is the city’s signature dish. While I have yet to pay Naples a visit during my European travels, I was inspired to create a similar dish at home after various holidays to Sicily and Cinque Terre during summer 2012 where we delightfully sampled local delicacies, thin crusted pizzas, scoops of gelatos, the occasional tiramisu and loads of pasta with fresh seafood. I always wonder how they make their pasta so tasty, with no tomato base. After scouring through countless Youtube videos and online recipes, this is my version of the dish! There’s no fishmongers around where I live, so the best place to find clams without having to make an early morning trek to Billingsgate is right in the heart of Chinatown on Dansey Place, a little alley that’s tucked in between Shaftesbury Ave and Gerrard Street.

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Ingredients (Serves 1 to 2 people)

  • Sea salt (I love Maldon sea salt!!)
  • 1 packet of linguine
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 300-500g clams, scrubbed and cleaned
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Method

  • Bring water to a boil in a pot. Add a dash of sea salt; throw in the linguine and cook and stir until al dente (approx 2 mins). Drain the pasta with a colandar but save 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and put this to one side.
  • In a separate pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden. Toss in chilli flakes and continue cooking for 15 to 30 seconds. Add wine and clams and increase heat to high. Cover your pan with a lid and cook until clams open and release their juices, usually 3-5 minutes, depending on size of clams.

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  • As the clams begin to open, add the cooked pasta and continuously toss with tongs until the sauce and clams are mixed through the pasta. Add 1/4 cup of the pasta water that you previously set aside and bring to boil. Taste the pasta sauce – if you prefer this to be less dry and salt add the remaining pasta water and stir in for another minute or two. Finally add the chopped parsley and mix the pasta thoroughly. Season with additional pepper and chilli flakes to your liking.

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  • Tada – there you have it! Plate up the pasta and dig in! Perfect for a night in or to line the stomach before a big night out! Serve with a side of garden salad or green beans and a glass of crisp and refreshing white wine!

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