I invited two of my girlfriends to come over for some Linguine Alle Vongole, made with live clams and freshly rolled pasta. So you may wonder.. What is vongole? Not vongoles, but vongole. My girlfriends were so confused until I told them it’s the Italian way of saying clam pasta. Why didn’t I just say Clam Pasta? I felt like being fancy and saying it the Italian way. Bwahahaha!
Linguine Alle Vongole is a popular dish found throughout Italy. The dish is prepared in two ways, in bianco or in rosso. In bianco vongole is made with oil, garlic, parsley, and white wine. In rosso vongole, is made with tomatoes and fresh basil.
My version, pays homage to Gennaro Contaldo. He is a Italian chef who is known as Jamie Oliver’s Italian cooking mentor. I had recently watched a youtube video of his version of Linguine Alle Vongole, and decided to use the same ingredients and make it my own. His version is a cross of bianco and rosso. The ingredients include everything in bianco, plus tomatoes, with additions of red chili and anchovies. The result was absolutely delicious!
Linguine Alle Vongole
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced 6 anchovies 1 red hot chili, finely chopped 1kg small clams, scrubbed clean 250ml white wine 7 cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, quartered 300g fresh noodle pasta or 250g dried pasta sea salt freshly ground black pepper 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped zest of lemon and spritz of juice (optional)
Rinse the clams under cold running water, and scrub a brush, if needed.
Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Meanwhile, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large pan over medium-heat. Add the anchovies, garlic, and chili. Stir and break up the anchovies. The garlic and chili should soften as they cook.
Add the clams, and turn to medium-high heat. Pour in the wine, tomatoes, and half the bunch of flat-leaf parsley leaves, cover and leave for a couple of minutes until most of the clams have opened. Make sure to discard any of the clams that remain closed.
While you are waiting for the clams to open, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook to the recommended time or until nearly done.
Drain the pasta and add to the pan of clams. Toss well and leave for a minute, then stir in extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and season to taste with salt. Stir and then plate. Then garnish with remaining chopped parsley. Optional – lemon zest and juice. Serve immediately.