This is my husband’s favorite dish. Not only is it delicious, but it brings memories we both love to savor.
Paul spent a semester in college studying in Venice. It was a time I think he will cherish forever. When we were dating, we decided to take a trip to Europe to show each other our “homes” abroad … for me, Paris and for Paul, Venice. It was in Venice, that Paul got down on one knee and made me the happiest girl in the world. That evening, I enjoyed my first true Spaghetti Vongole with a bottle of Pinot Grigio as we celebrated our engagement.
This is the dish I will making for my Valentine this year. It is full of love, flavor and … as an added bonus is surprisingly simple to make.
2 pounds small clams, scrubbed clean
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound linguine, cooked as per package directions, drained, and kept warm
1/4 cup minced flat leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sort through your cleaned clams to make sure all are tightly closed. If any aren’t closed, that means they are dead so throw them away.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and the tomatoes. Stir and cook until the garlic turns fragrant; be careful to not let it brown. Add the white wine and stir to combine. Add the clams, stir gently, and close the lid. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mussels open.
Add the drained pasta to the pot along with the parsley. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
When buying fresh clams, do not seal the plastic bag. The clams are still alive and need to breathe. I immediately transfer them to a colander to store in my refrigerator until ready to use.
To prepare the clams, first discard any with broken shells or that are open. Rinse under cold water to remove any dirt.
Any clams that do not open during cooking, should be discarded and not eaten.