A Plateful of Pasta.

Fettuccine alle Vongole

Sit me down in any Italian restaurant and chances are I would have skimmed the menu to see they offered spaghetti alle vongole, even before you’ve gotten comfortable in your seat.

If they did, there was no need to think twice about it- spaghetti alle vongole it was. (If they didn’t, a quick flip to the dessert selection was in order, followed by a lot of humming and hawing over getting a steak or some other pasta.)

For all the love I have for the classic Italian dish though, it had always been sacred restaurant food. You know, the kind of food you only ever have at restaurants that completes the whole experience of being all dressed up and eating at a slightly fancy restaurant.

That was, until I learnt that clams were available at my local market.

Fettuccine alle Vongole II

As it turns out, making spaghetti alle vongole (or more accurately, fettuccine alle vongole) wasn’t really that much harder than ordering it at a restaurant- and a lot more delicious that I expected.

It’s hard not to love the combination of sweet clam meat and white wine but sauteed in some chopped garlic and finely sliced red chili and tossed in some pasta and fresh parsley takes that sweet, delicious combination to a whole new level.

Now if I could get a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a cup of thick, rich espresso, I might just never have to dine at an Italian restaurant again :lol:

Fettuccine alle vongole

Fettuccine alle Vongole III

Ingredients
1/2 packet of fettuccine
A glug of olive oil
1/2 a head of garlic, peeled and minced finely
1 chili padi, sliced finely
500g clams
About 3 glasses of white wine
A small handful of parsley, chopped

  1. Soak the clams in a large bowl of water for about ten minutes. Drain them, discard any opened ones and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a large pinch of salt and the fettuccine. Let the water come back to boil and cook the pasta till barely al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving the water it was cooked in, and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and chili, frying till fragrant. Add the clams, wine and pasta. Cover for a couple of minutes, cooking until most of the clams have opened. Add some of the reserved liquid if the pasta gets dry. Discard the clams that remain closed. Remove the pan from heat and season the pasta with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with chopped parsley. Serves 4
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11 Comments

  1. Yummy. This is also one of my favorite pasta dishes.

    Reply
  2. This sure looks good! Now I only need to find out what I can sub white wine for, and I’m good to go!

    Reply
  3. mmmm.. that looks incredibly good! if only I had half your skills then I’ll surely not dine out Italian style ever.

    Reply
    • Hi Naomi :) It’s one of my favourites too- so easy and so delicious!

      Thanks, Zhul! I imagine a simple prawn stock would work pretty well in place of wine. Let me know how it goes if you do try it out :)

      Aw thanks, Sihan. You’re much too kind :D And this is seriously simple, believe me. Get yourself some clams and the hardest part of making the dish is done :lol:

  4. Gee Laureen, you never failed to tempt me with all your bakes and your cooks! With your experience in all those bakings and cookings, when are you starting a restaurant? Don’t forget to engage me when you start one! Your fettuccine made me hungry…

    Reply
    • Heh thanks, Jane but you think way too highly of my cooking and baking skills! Believe me, I still have tons of learning and experimenting around the kitchen to do :D

  5. I always love this pasta. Simplicity at its best!

    Reply
  6. yum yum yum! looks good and no doubt im sure it tasted super yummy! (: one of my fav types of pasta to order! nice one babe!

    Reply
  7. elizabethinbuenosaires

     /  May 22, 2010

    Laureen,

    I was thrilled to see you posted this. My mom’s side of the family is Italian and thus I grew up by my mother’s side in the kitchen learning how to make everything from linguine with clam sauce to tiramisu. A great variation on the recipe (and what we always have supplies for in our pantry because it’s so easy to whip up) includes chopped, canned clams. The sauce is still simple – heat up some olive oil, toss in the garlic, let it brown a bit, add your clam juice (you can get it at any super, in jars or cans), put in the clams, and add the chopped parsley at the very last minute. You can fool around with the proportions of everything, depending upon how you like it (more liquid if you like yours a bit soupy, extra clams if your clammy, etc.) – and that’s the funnest part, because it turns out a tiny bit different every time. Add some perfectly aldente linguine, sprinkle on some red pepper flakes, and voila, you have a plate of perfection.

    Keep cookin’!

    Elizabeth

    Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth! That sounds absolutely incredible! I have to try it out some day- thanks for sharing that! :D

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