Thursday, 24 September 2015

Spaghetti with clams

Few nights ago, when the weather was still warm at night,   we were at a party on the beach, in a beautiful casual environment, great  friendly atmosphere, candle lights…
Our hosts served us some casual food, among with these spaghetti.
Too easy, full of flavor, and so maritime not to share!
Try the little fished inside after cooking, We also serve them as an appetiser, still in their shells, just drain them from the cooking liquid, add a handful of parsley and some more extra virgin olive oil.

Just few things to remember about clams: 
1) the clams must be alive, which means tightly closed, 
2) they should have a nice sea smell 
3) discard any smelly/broken shell, 
4) wash and scrub the closed shells under cold running water because they have lots of sand inside.

This is how I make them:

Ingredients for 4

400 grs./ 14 oz spaghetti
1,3-1,4 kg / 3 lb Clams (I realise in Italy are smaller)
2 cloves of garlic
½ cup parsley
3/4 spoons extra virgin olive oil

Wash the clams: put them in a large bowl full of cold water and wash them changing water now and then until the water is completely clean. Drain them in a colander.

On a medium fire, put a large pan with some extra-virgin olive oil in it, add the peeled garlic cloves, and when the oil is hot, add the clams and cover with a lid. The shells should cook for about 6-8 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally.
To make sure open the lid:  the shells all must be open. If not cover again and let them cook for some more minutes.
Switch off the fire and let cool down.

In the meanwhile wash and chop the parsley.

When the clams are cold, start discarding the shells keeping the small fishes in a other big pan. Leave at least 1/3 of the shells with the fish inside: they will be nice in your dishes. Put the remaining full shells in the same pan. KEEP the liquid!

Now you have an inch of liquid in the bottom of your pan. Pass it through a wire mesh sieve, discard the garlic, and add the liquid to the fishes. Please test the liquid: it should be very salty. If it is not, salt the water for your pasta normally.

Boil the pasta in slightly salted water. (sorry less salt than usual is required let’s say 6-7 gr/liter). Three minutes before it is ready (please read the instructions on your pack) drain it and pour it in the large pan with the fishes. Keep at least a ladder of the cooking water. Stir well and let them cook over a high fire, stir gently until they reach the perfect cooking. If the pasta absorbs all the liquid, add small quantities of the cooking water, little by little.
Take off fire, add the parsley and serve immediately.

A glass of cold white wine strongly recommended, traminer for example!

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