Linguine with clams

Linguine with clams

Linguine alle vongole in bianco

By
From
Sharing Puglia
Serves
6
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

This is the quintessential Italian seafood dish. Small clams packed with flavour are found all around the southern part of Italy. Vivienne and I visited the seafront in Bari early one February morning and we watched as the fishermen brought their catch to the shore. They washed their catch in baby baths, which they rocked back and forth to remove the sand and grit. Then the clams were wrapped in newspaper and sold direct to the public to the highest bidder. The small sweet clams were traded like precious marbles. We bought far too many and cooked them as soon as possible.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg clams
500g tagliolini or linguine
80ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 red chillies, chopped
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 lemon, zested

Method

  1. Throw the clams into a large bowl, one by one, so they hit the bottom of the bowl. This will help to dislodge the sand and find the dead clams. (The dead clams will not react, and you can discard them.)
  2. Place the clams in a clean bowl with water to cover and a pinch of salt. (The clams need to be rinsed several times to wash out the sand, so change the water each time.)
  3. Place the clams in a large saucepan with a ladleful of cold water and cover. Cook the clams over high heat for 3–4 minutes until they open. Drain the clam stock through a fine sieve and set aside in a bowl together with the opened clams. Discard any clams that do not open.
  4. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, then drain. Reserve some of the pasta water for the sauce.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, place the olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat and add the garlic and half the chopped chilli. Sauté for a few minutes until softened. Add the cooked clams to the pan with half the parsley and the reserved clam stock. Shake the pan from time to time and cook over medium–low heat for 5 minutes. Add the remaining parsley and chilli and transfer to a large serving bowl.
  6. Scatter the lemon zest on top, drizzle with olive oil, season with some freshly ground black pepper and serve.
Tags:
italy
italian
puglia
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