Pasta alle Vongole – Pasta with Fresh Clams
This dish is always a restaurant favorite but you’ll be surprised how easy and satisfying it is to prepare at home. Serves 2 people but this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. The colors and clams in this dish create an intricate plate which deceives it simple preparation. Impress with a romantic dinner for two or your entire dinner party.
Recipe Courtesy of Onda Pasta
1/2 a pound of fresh Onda Pasta (made fresh in Hawaii)
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 TB butter
2 t olive oil
1/4 cup white cooking wine
1/3 of a small lemon
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half
20-25 clams, 1 Lb or just over a pound
1-2 TB (to your taste) fresh basil, chopped
1 TB fresh parsley, finely chopped
Pinch of thyme
Pinch of oregano
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Red chili flakes to taste
Put a large pot of water on the boil. While you wait, warm one Tb of butter and 2 t of olive oil in a pan big enough to hold all the clams and the pasta together. Once hot, add the cherry tomatoes and sauté for about a minute to soften. Add the clams, wine, garlic and squeeze in the lemon juice. Cover with a lid for 3-4 minutes until the clams open. The timing for this will vary because the fresher the clams are the quicker it will take.
Once they open, add salt, pepper, a pinch or 2 of chili pepper, thyme, oregano and basil and give the pan a good stir. Cover and remove from heat.
Put the pasta in the pot of boiling water. Fresh pasta is ready in 3 minutes so you should cook it for 2 minutes because you will finish it in the pan. We chose to use a mix of spinach, classic and beet noodles for extra color. Whichever pasta you end up using, cook it about 3/4th of the recommended time on the package. If you’re using box pasta, try to time the cooking so that the pan of clams is not sitting off of the heat for more than 3 minutes.
Turn the clams back on to high heat. Strain the pasta and put it directly in the pan of clams reserving a Tb of the cooking water and add that in as well. The starchy water creates creaminess in your sauce. Use tongs to mix everything together and cook for about 2 minutes or until you see the sauce thicken up. It will become even thicker as it cools on the plate.
Divide the pasta between 2 plates sharing the clams and tomatoes. Poor the remaining sauce from the pan on top, garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve immediately. It's a good idea to have some fresh bread on the table to mop up the extra sauce.