Mouse Princess

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spaghettini alle Vongole

I've always been inspired by Italian cooking. I'm obviously not from an Italian background and I don't know much about Italian history or language, but the simplicity and freshness of Italian cooking has always appealed to me.

The ingredients used in an Italian food recipe are usually very simple and easy to find [especially now that I live in a North American country], such as tomatoes, basil, cheese and olives. The flavoring is also not complicated most of the time, yet the end result is always tasty and healthy.

One of the main dishes that comprises Italian cuisine is of course, pasta. There are different shapes, colors, and textures. You must use the right shape of pasta with the right sauce to get the ultimate result. I used to think that there are only two sauces to accompany pastas, cream sauce and tomato sauce [and their combination]. I never thought that an invisible[clear] sauce would make a tasty pasta. Boy, was I wrong.

The sauce used in this vongole pasta is basically a garlic-infused olive oil and reserved clam juice. With a little bit of chili flakes, lemon zest, and seasonings, the clear sauce is perfect for your spaghetti or spaghettini and you can taste the freshness of the sauce while slurping your pasta ^^

The recipe comes from The Pasta Bible by Jeni Wright and I made some modifications, such as adding the chili flakes and lemon zest. Love chili flakes!!

Spaghettini with Clam Sauce [Spaghettini alle Vongole]

1 kg fresh clams
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
120 mL dry white wine
350 gr dried spaghettini
2 garlic cloves [I used 4], crushed
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
a punch of chili flakes
salt and pepper

01. Scrub the clams under cold running water, discarding any that are open or do not close when sharply tapped against the work surface.
02. Heat half the oil in a pot, add the clams and 1 tbsp of the parsley and cook over high heat for a few seconds. Pout in the wine and cover tightly. Cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pot frequently. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the instructions on the packet.
03. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a bowl, discarding any that failed to open. Strain the liquid and set it aside. Shell the clams and leave some with the shell intact for garnish.
04. Heat the remaining oil in a clean pan. Fry the whole garlic cloves until golden. You may leave the garlic in [i did!] or discard them.
05. Add the shelled clams to the oil and gradually add some of the strained liquid. Add chili flakes, lemon juice and lemon zest. Then add plenty of pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, gradually adding more liquid as sauce reduces. Add the remaining parsley and cook for 1-2 minutes.
06. Drain the pasta, add it to the pan and toss well. Garnish with unshelled clams. and serve immediately.

Serves: 4

Modification: I added some black tiger shrimps and used flax seed spaghettini to make my health-conscious brother happy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW cindy you made that it looks so yummy! reminds me of the golden monkeys we saw at the zoo...omg did you know we can cook monkeys???

February 22, 2009 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Princess Mouseau said...

wow jen.. i dunno if i should that that as a compliment because you just said that my food reminds u of monkeys... and boy do i wanna get into having monkeys as food...=/

March 2, 2009 at 7:06 PM  

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