Saturday, January 12, 2013

Spaghetti con Vongole

Copyright 2013 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This dish means spaghetti with clams and is adapted from Sophia Loren's recipe. Actually, I was researching her Puttanesca recipe but came across this one on the page next to the recipe I wanted. What made this recipe interesting was the fact that it resembled the Puttanesca I saw posted on the internet with a few key differences. I thought it would be best to try this dish as written in the book and experiment with the Puttanesca dish some other time, both the more authentic and the modified versions. 

The recipe calls for clams but stopping by the wet market tonight, we found mussels as well so I grabbed a few of those in addition to the clams. The dish also goes well with shrimps so that was added to the mix as well and even scallops were thrown in. My friends were making jokes that the dish is a bit pale and needs a dash of ketchup or two (Que' horror!) to bring it to life but once they've tasted the dish, they went in for second and third helpings. It was very good indeed. Certainly a good meal to share with lovely friends or family.

Spaghetti con Vongole - Adapted*

1 lb spaghetti
2 lbs clams/mussels/shelled shrimps
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup olive oil plus more if needed
1 lb tomatoes, diced roughly
salt and pepper
4 tbsp parsley
1 cup white wine (or water)
Parmigiano, grated

1. In a large pot over medium heat, steam the clams and mussels with the 
    white wine. Cover the pot and cook until the shells have opened. Take 
    off from the heat and set aside.

2. In a large pan, heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat and saute the 
    garlic. Cook until softened. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and 
    pepper. Saute until softened. Add about a cup of the clam/mussel liquid 
    and lower heat to simmer. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.  

3. While the tomatoes are simmering, cook the spaghetti as per packet 
    instructions. Boil until the spaghetti is close to being al dente

4. In the pan with the sauce, add the shrimps and mix. Transfer the almost 
    cooked spaghetti into the sauce and finish cooking the pasta in the pan. 
    Add more clam/mussel liquid and keep tossing until the spaghetti is al 

5. To finish the dish, add the clams and mussels and toss into the spaghetti. 
    Turn off the heat and add a handful of grated cheese and half the parsley.
    Toss with the rest of the olive oil and serve in a large bowl with a 
    garnishing of the remaining parsley. 

*Loren, S., Sophia Loren's Recipes and Memories, GT Publishing, New York: 1998  

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