Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Spaghetti con Vongole (Spaghetti with Clam Sauce)

I have had this dish a couple of times over the past months: at Pasta Rustica on Lygon St. and then at Gross Florentino: The Grill. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but really, my version kicked ass!

This is really an adaptation of what I think the dish should be like rather than following any specific recipe.

For 4 servings (well we finished these for lunch but we had seconds):

  1. 3/4 kg. of very fresh, preferably live, vongole*
  2. 250g. of thin spaghetti or spaghettini
  3. 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  4. 2-3 salted anchovies in oil
  5. 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  6. 2 shallots, finely sliced
  7. 2 stalks of spring onions, finely sliced
  8. 1/2 tsp of dried chilli flakes
  9. A few twists of black pepper
  10. 1/4 cup of booze, preferrably white wine but I didn’t have any so I used shao hsing.
  11. 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  12. 2 stalks of fresh parsley, chopped

Rinse the clams in plenty of cold water to remove the grit. Or ask your fishmonger how you should clean them (I think it depends how much cleaning they have already done on them) Cook the pasta. Heat up a big pot (you need room to toss around later) with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Add chopped garlic, shallots and the white parts of the spring onions. Add the anchovies. Turn the heat down to medium high and stir around a bit until the anchovies fall apart. Add tomato, chilli flakes and some freshly ground pepper and stir.

Add the clams and drizzle in some white wine and turn the heat up high. Cover and steam the clams for about 5 minutes or until they open fully (glass lid is uber useful). Sprinkle with chopped spring onions and parsley. Drain the pasta and toss them into the clam sauce.

Drizzle another tablespoon or so of olive and toss until combined. Turn the heat off and put the lid back on and let it sit for another minute before serving.

(the aftermath)

* I have no idea what type of clams they were. My fishmonger called them vongole. My marine biology knowledge is non-existent.