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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)
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