BIG TONI’S ITALIAN KITCHEN

Spaghetti with clams

Spaghetti alle vongole

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For 4 people you will need:

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  •     1 dozen clams, small as you can get
  •     2 cloves of garlic chopped fine
  •     3 gluggs of olive oil (about 3 tablespoons)
  •     2 to 3 chopped anchovy fillets
  •     A handful of chopped parsley
  •     400g Tin of Italian tomatoes the best you can get chopped ( you can         leave the tomatoes out if you prefer white Vongole but ad some extra         oil)
  •     Sea Salt
  •     500g Spaghetti 

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How to make:

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Wash the clams well. Heat them in a covered heavy pan until they open their shells. Detach the clams from the shells. If the clams are very small leave them whole if normal size cut them into two and set them aside.

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Strain the clam juices through a clean coffee filter or kitchen paper to get rid of any grit. 

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In a saucepan sauté the garlic in the olive oil when the garlic just colours

add the parsley and anchovies keep stirring. then add the chopped tomatoes with their juice and the strained clam juices. Simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes until the oil separates from the tomatoes.

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While the sauce is cooking bring a large pan of salted water to the boil as soon as the sauce has finished dropping the spaghetti in the boiling water. Cook until Al Dente, firm to the bite.

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As soon as the pasta is cooked drain the spaghetti and transfer to a warm bowl drop the cooked clams into the sauce and mix well into the pasta.

Test seasoning and serve at once with a scattering of the shells.

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No Italian would have cheese with this but I have seen it used a little like seasoning and it does make the sauce slightly richer.

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Jason’s Wine recommendations

One of my favourites is Greco di Tufo

Greco di Tufo from Campania in Italy. 

Tre Fiori, Greco di Tufo at Waitrose - £8.79

Spaghetti with clams – If this dish is the classic Italian style without tomatoes then the classic pairing would be a Pinot Grigio, but remember it’s better to pay a little more with this wine as quality improves dramatically from the bargain level stuff widely available. If the dish has tomatoes aswell then the wine needs to have a greater intensity and one of my favourites is Greco di Tufo from Campania in Italy. Tre Fiori, Greco di Tufo at Waitrose - £8.79