Spaghetti alle Vongole (Spaghetti with Clams) is simple and absolutely delicious. This is a very traditional dish of southern Italy. It is quick and easy to make and full of flavor. Spaghetti and clams are the two main ingredients, and you can add a variety of spices and other foods to make it your own.
Regions of Italy have crossovers in their cuisine and also many differences. Northern, central, and southern Italy have specialties unique to their own region, yet still share many Italian ingredients and traditions. Southern Italy is known for seafood and pasta which is served as part of every meal. I love how hot red peppers are used, making most foods quite spicy!
2poundsclams (soaked in salted water for at least 2 hours, drained and rinsed)
4tbsp.extra virgin olive oil
1/2tspred pepper flakes
6ouncespasta (Linguine, Spaghetti or Fetuccini)
2tbsp.fresh parsley chopped
Cover the clams with water and cook them in a pot on high heat. Add a small amount of white wine to the cooking clams. Stir the clams until they open, and discard clams that have not opened. Drain the clams.
Heat the olive oil on medium and sauté whole garlic cloves and red pepper flakes. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the wine and the clams once the garlic is golden. Saute for another minute.
Meanwhile, boil 3 quarts of water in a 5 quart pot. Add salt and pasta stirring occasionally. Turn off heat 2 minutes before tender. Drain, and save ½ cup of the cooked pasta water.
Add ¼ cup of pasta water to the saucepan with the clams and increase temperature to high. Add the pasta to the pan and stir for 3-4 minutes. Add parsley and stir. Add more pasta water if needed then leave over heat for 2-3 minutes to bring flavors together.
Transfer pasta to warm bowls and drizzle with remaining olive oil.