Spaghetti with Clams
1 pound dried spaghetti
2 shallots finely chopped (I used one small white onion)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lemon for zesting
1. Clean the clams and prepare them for cooking. I made the mistake of not doing this before cooking… It makes things a little more complicated if you don’t do this ahead of time (I’m speaking from experience). Ha-ha.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until cooked “al dente” (still a little firm). Stir to be sure noodles don’t stick together.
3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add the shallots and sauté until soft (about 3 min). Add the garlic and sauté until the garlic is golden brown and shallots are translucent (about 3 more min- be careful not to burn the garlic). Add clams, wine, 2 tablespoons of parsley, ½ teaspoon of sea salt and ½ tablespoon of pepper. Cover and simmer until most of the clams have opened, about 6 minutes. Toss any clams that don’t open. Whisk in the butter to thicken the sauce slightly.
4. Drain the spaghetti noodles, reserving 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid. DO NOT RINSE THE NOODLES WITH WATER. Retaining the natural starches helps the sauce adhere to the spaghetti. Toss noodles with clam mixture in the pan to coat. Add enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten if needed. (When I made this dish it didn’t need the liquid- but this may be different for you)
5. Transfer pasta and clams to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with lemon zest over the pasta. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve immediately.
NOTE: Go easy on the sea salt; don’t use more than the recipe calls for! Sea salt is potent and a little goes a long way.
De Laurentiis, G. (2005). Everyday Italian: 125 simple and delicious recipes. New York, NY: Clarkson Potter/Publishers.