SPAGHETTINI ALLE VONGOLE

etalk reporter Danielle McGimsie and her brother Chris have this every Christmas Eve with their family when it is an Italian tradition to serve seafood rather than meat dishes. They used their mom's homemade chilies and tomato sauce, De Cecco spaghettini and lots of cheese. Chris said that although some Italians would never use cheese with seafood, they love it!

etalk reporter Danielle McGimsie and her brother Chris have this every Christmas Eve with their family when it is an Italian tradition to serve seafood rather than meat dishes. They used their mom's homemade chilies and tomato sauce, De Cecco spaghettini and lots of cheese. Chris said that although some Italians would never use cheese with seafood, they love it!

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp hot red chile flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 2 lbs baby clams, rinsed well (discard any clams that have cracked shells or that feel very heavy)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup tomato puree or sauce
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lb spaghettini

Method

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cover to keep hot while starting the sauce.

    2. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet about 3" or 4" deep. Add shallots, garlic and chile flakes. Cook gently until fragrant.

    3. Add clams, lemon juice and wine and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes and half the parsley. Cover and cook a few minutes until clams open. (Discard any clams that do not open.)

    4. Meanwhile, add about 1 tbsp salt to the boiling water and cook spaghettini until almost done (it will finish cooking in the sauce). Drain well saving about 1 cup of the cooking water.

    5. Add drained spaghettini to clam sauce, toss well, cook a minute or two, season with salt and pepper and remaining parsley. Add some of the reserved cooking water if pasta and sauce seem dry. Toss with cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Find more of Bonnie's delicious recipes in her cookbooks: