Monday, October 19, 2015

Quick and Easy Pasta Vongole

One of the simplest and yet tastiest pasta dishes to make is Vongole -- if I could always find fresh clams, I would make it more often.

We were able to buy halaan or manila clams at the Bicutan market.  They were a bit on the small side but  they were fresh and did not smell the least bit off.  
The tindera also assured  me "pinasuka ko na ho iyan" meaning, she had already soaked them in salted water to get them to "regurgitate" all the grit and sand inside.  
We have more bottles of wine than we can ever consume so making Pasta Vongole meant I could open a bottle of white wine and at least know that it would be consumed.  I used Sauvignon Blanc which is an ideal pairing for fish and shellfish.

I had fresh parsley in the chiller but I also had a packet of "fresh" furikake that I found in Nishiki Market in Kyoto, on my last visit.  "Fresh" furikake is an oxymoron of sorts since furikake is dried seasoning -- finely chopped bits of herbs, nori, pickles, etc that the Japanese sprinkle on top of hot cooked rice.
I have no idea what this particular furikake is made of but perhaps it's a blend of chives, parsley,  perhaps even some shiso leaf because it did have a minty, citrusy aftertaste.
I was sure it would put a new twist on classic Vongole.

One kilo of clams and a 500 gram pack of spaghetti yielded Vongole good for 5 to 6 people.
The furikake did complement the clams well and added a zesty taste. Along with the
remainder of my Sauvignon Blanc,  it was a quick and tasty Friday night dinner!

Here's how to make this simple Pasta Vongole,  furikake optional


1 kg medium sized halaan or clams, pre-soaked in lightly salted water to remove grit and sand
white wine like Sauvignon Blanc
minced garlic
chopped parsley
salt and pepper
olive oil and butter
500 gms cooked spaghetti or linguini
1 cup reserved pasta water

How to Make

Saute the minced garlic in olive oil and a little butter.  When cooked, pour about half a cup or a bit more of the white wine.
Put the clams in the pan and let the wine come to a boil and the clams start to open.
Once the wine has come to a boil, add the cooked pasta and mix well.  Add some of the reserved pasta liquid to keep the dish from drying out.  Add the fresh parsley.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat.
Serve Pasta Vongole with grated parmesan or edam cheese and enjoy with a glass of white wine.

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