Living so far from any coastline, I’m naturally nervous about buying fresh clams, just in case they aren’t.
Wild-caught, canned baby clams on the other hand, are risk-free and work wonderfully well when combine with bottled clam juice.
Add a few cloves of garlic, olive oil, a splash of dry vermouth, a scattering of dried red chili, a handful of parsley and an anchovy or two, and you’ll have a deeply satisfying spaghetti supper that only takes 20 minutes to make.
I could eat this every day, it’s that good. No grated Parmesan is necessary but feel free if you can’t live without it.
SPAGHETTI WITH A WHITE CLAM SAUCE
(Enough for two)
1/2lb (230g) of spaghetti or linguine
3 tablespoons of good olive oil
2 large anchovy fillets
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
A scattering of dried chili flakes to taste
1/2 cup (118ml) of dry vermouth
10oz (284g) can of baby clams, drained
1/2 cup (118ml) of bottled clam juice
A handful of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
While you’re bring the water to a boil to cook the spaghetti, warm the olive oil in a deep sauté pan and add the anchovies and garlic. Turn up the heat a bit and once the anchovies have begun to dissolve and the garlic turns golden, add the chili flakes followed by the vermouth. Bring it to a simmer and after a couple of minutes, add the clam juice and clams. Return it to a gentle simmer and give it a good grind of sea salt.
Keep it simmering on a low setting but make sure you retain at least half of the liquid.
Drain the pasta quickly when it’s 1 minute from being perfectly al-dente and tip it into the pan with the clams and their sauce. Toss everything gently to combine and continue to cook for another minute before adding the chopped parsley.
Serve immediately with or without grated Parmesan.