Spaghetti alle Vongole, or spaghetti with clams, is a classic Italian dish that is beloved by many. With its simple yet flavorful combination of spaghetti, fresh clams, garlic, olive oil, and white wine, it’s no wonder that this dish has stood the test of time. However, before diving into this delicious recipe, it’s important to properly clean and de-sand the little neck clams.
How to Clean and De-Sand Little Neck Clams
It’s important to start by rinsing the clams under cold running water to remove any loose dirt or sand. However, to fully remove any sand that may be inside the clams, it’s necessary to use a saltwater solution. This is because clams naturally filter sand and debris from the water around them, and they can hold onto this sand even after being rinsed.
To make the saltwater solution, simply fill a large bowl with cold water and add about a tablespoon of salt per quart of water. Stir the water to dissolve the salt, and then add the clams to the solution. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes, which will encourage the clams to expel any sand or debris that may be inside their shells.
After soaking, remove the clams from the saltwater solution and rinse them again under cold running water to remove any remaining sand or debris. Now, the clams are ready to be cooked according to your recipe.
By taking the time to properly clean and de-sand the little neck clams, you can ensure that your Spaghetti alle Vongole is not only delicious, but also safe to eat. Plus, the extra effort will be well worth it when you take your first bite of this classic Italian dish. So, give this recipe a try and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills!
Spaghetti alle Vongole
- 1 lb. Spaghetti
- 2 lbs. Fresh Clams
- 3 Cloves minced
- 1/4 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup Dry white wine Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
- 1/4 tsp. Red pepper flakes
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley chopped (for garnish)
Cleaning little neck clams is an important step to ensure that they are safe to eat and to remove any sand or debris that may be present. Here are the steps to clean and de-sand little neck clams:
- Rinse the clams under cold running water to remove any loose dirt or sand.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and add about a tablespoon of salt per quart of water. Stir the water to dissolve the salt.
- Add the clams to the saltwater solution and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. This will help to encourage the clams to expel any sand or debris that may be inside their shells.
- After the clams have soaked, remove them from the water and discard any that are already open or that do not close when tapped. This is an indication that they are not alive and should not be eaten.
- Rinse the clams again under cold running water to remove any remaining sand or debris.
Spaghetti alle Vongole
- Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, according to the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook until the garlic is fragrant and lightly golden, about 1 minute.
- Add the clams to the skillet and pour in the white wine. Cover and cook until the clams open, shaking the skillet occasionally, about 5-7 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open.
- Add the cooked spaghetti and reserved pasta cooking water to the skillet with the clams. Toss everything together until the spaghetti is coated in the sauce and the clams are evenly distributed.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately.