This is the easiest fancy meal you could ever make, EVER. And if you’re scared of cooking shellfish, now is the time to overcome those fears and embrace a new culinary skill because it may just be the simplest task you’ve ever mastered in the kitchen. This simple meal is a great one to serve around the holidays being both quick and elegant. Every special occasion calls for shellfish in my book!
This dish takes me back to our first meal in Italy this fall. We arrived in Milan early one morning after a red eye from New York then trained to Genoa. We settled into our air b’n’b, then cruised the streets to find a easy spot to eat. We were staying right by the harbor and we quickly noticed it was a not so safe part of town. After a good while of looking for a decent restaurant all we found was a Chinese food. We almost gave in but then I asked a friendly woman on the street what her recommendation was for dinner and she pointed me in the diction of Mario’s.
When we first arrived at Mario’s the restaurant was some what empty, but as we started eating it filled up, with only locals, all speaking italian and tipping back their glasses of red wine. That night I ordered the Spaghetti with Clams. It was served just as simply as I had imagined it to be and I’m making it the same way for you here. Good tomato sauce, spaghetti cooked al dente and a sprinkle of parsley on top. If you want to add a touch of parmesan or red pepper flakes, feel free. To me this dish is the perfect taste of where land meets sea in the heart of Italy.
Spaghetti with Clams is a wonderfully easy recipe to prepare for special holidays like New Years Eve or Valentine's Day.
- 1.5 lb clams (about 18)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 4 ounces spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon of parsley, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Clean clams under water scrubbing the exterior. Then, place in a bowl of cold water with a teaspoon of cornmeal in the water (this is optional but a good way of cleaning the clams since they are used to processing sand through their system).
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- While water is getting hot, place a large sauté pan (with a lid) over medium high heat. Add olive oil then add garlic. Sauté garlic for 30 seconds to 1 minute then add white wine. Let wine simmer and evaporate a bit (a couple minutes), then add in the tomato sauce. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to your taste. Bring sauce to a slow simmer while you cook the pasta.
- Once water is boiling add noodles and cook for 1-2 minutes less than the package directions. Once cooked, add spaghetti to the sauce pan. Add cleaned clams on top of the noodles and cover the pan with its lid. Simmer with the lid on for 10-12 minutes or until the clams open up.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.