Spaghetti are my preferred pasta!
And in this recipe you can smell the fantastic bouquet of the Italian food, so rich in flavour, and yet sometime so basic!
This recipe can be the base for many pasta and seafood recipes, you can also use half weight of mussels and half clams, and add different seafood or small calamari.
Follow the very easy instructions and you will enjoy a truly delightful dish, better if served at sunset on a patio on the beach! (nice glass of dry, cold wine also strongly suggested!)
Ingredients for 4
400 grs spaghetti (medium or thick size)
4 large tomatoes cut into small pieces
4 garlic cloves
3 table spoons parsley, finely chopped
10 table spoons extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
1 kg/ 2.4 lbs Mussels (or 1.2 lb mussels / 1.2 lb clams)
1 red hot dried chilly pepper
1) Thoroughly wash the shells to clean up all sand and byssus. If you use two kinds of shells, keep them separate, and cook them into 2 different pans with a 2 table spoons of evoo and a clove of garlic (in each pan). Put the lid on and cook for about 10 minutes, until all the shells open. Turn the gas off and let it cool.
2) Remove the meat from inside most of the clams and mussels; discard the most of the shells and reserve the liquid. Pass it through a sieve to discart any impurity.
3) In the meanwhile, wash and cut the tomatoes into small pieces, put 4 tablespoons of evoo in a very large pan, big enough to contain both the sauce and the pasta and warm it up. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and slowly saute. When the edges of the garlic becomes lightly browned, remove it and add the tomatoes. Let them cook for 10 minutes and then add the seafood and half of the liquid they produced. You should need no salt, but taste the sauce with some rustic bread and decide what is better for you. Keep it warm.
4) Simultaneously, in boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti for half the time shown on the packaging, drain them and put them in the sauce. (add more mussel water if necessary). Cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for the remaining time, stirring now and then. Taste them to assess if they are ready (remember they must be “al dente” NOT too soft or sticky).
5) When ready, add the chopped parsley, mix well and serve immediately.