Foodie Friday: Spaghetti Vongole a'la Mom-Friday

First Friday of the month: Mom-Cook / Recipe / Pasta

I love seafoods - fish, crustaceans, shellfish.  When I get the chance to buy some fresh seafood, I get inspired to try old recipes from my mother or whip up something new. Spaghetti alle Vongole (Italian for spaghetti with clams) is one of my favorite pasta dishes that I order when it's on a menu.  For the longest time, I have been thinking about making this at home but always end up with clam soup.  Finally, I was able to cook my first Spaghetti alle Vongole and it was delicious, if I may say so myself! =)

I kept two recipes for reference when I get the chance to cook it at home.  When I saw a fresh batch of clams in SM Hypermarket, I took home a kilo and planned for my first spaghetti vongole for dinner.  When buying clams, make sure they are opening and squirting water.

This is a pretty quick and easy dish to make.  I adapted my recipe from these two sources:
Jamie Oliver - Spaghetti Vongole
Yummy.ph - Pasta-Vongole


4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white onion, chopped
1 medium ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

3-4 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
 (only because I don't have white wine)
  *1/4 cup white wine
1 kilo clams 
(cleaned of dirt and sand)

sea salt
ground pepper

chili flakes
300-400g spaghetti noodles - cooked al dente

To prepare:
Soak clams in water with a teaspoon of salt, about 30 minutes.
Allow clams to "gargle and spit", and then rinse to wash throughly to make sure no dirt or sand in your clams.
While soaking your clams, boil water to cook your spaghetti (al dente) as instructed.
Chop garlic, onion and tomato.
Set aside cleaned clams, and cooked spaghetti.

To cook:
Heat saucepan, sauté garlic, onion, tomato in EVOO, then add butter. Cook until soft and fragrant. 
Add Chinese cooking wine and stir a few more minutes to reduce the sauce.

Add clams and shuffle the pan in medium heat.  Cover the pan for about 3 minutes - allow clam shells to open.
Continue to stir and shuffle until all clams open.
Season with salt and pepper (and chili flakes).
Discard clams that still did not open by this time.
Toss cooked spaghetti and mix until well coated.  
Let pasta soak for a minute to absorb the flavors.

Top with grated parmesan cheese if desired. 
Serve immediately. Good for 3-4 people.

I can't believe it was this easy to cook!  I hope there will be fresh clams again on my next trip to the supermarket.  The rest of the ingredients are always present in my kitchen.  To be honest, I was intimidated by the white wine, heehee.  Since I did not have one at home, I've decided to just use my Chinese cooking wine as alternative and I'm really happy my spaghetti vongole still turned out really good, and J enjoyed it too!  
Do you like clams? Care to try this at home? =)

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