Spaghetti alle vongole is a traditional Neapolitan dish, often served in Italian homes during Christmas. While there are two ways of its preparation, I will present the one in rosso, which includes tomatoes unlike its simpler version in bianco. The main element of the dish are vongola verace, which is Italian for clams.
250 g thin spaghetti (ideally no.3 but no.5 would also be acceptable)
1 kg clams (vongole veraci)
optionally shrimps or other type of seafood
1/2 glass of dry white wine
300 g cherry tomatoes
1 small chilli pepper
2 cloves of garlic
Before cooking the clams, soak them for at least one hour in very salty cold water to avoid having to eat sand and unwanted fragments of the shells. I would strongly recommend to carefully filter the vongole under running tap water.
When that’s done, we can start preparing the dish from warming up a generous amount of olive oil in a pan together with 2 crushed cloves of garlic and a bit of chilli. In the meantime start separately preparing the spaghetti in salted water.
Next, take off the garlic to prevent it from burning and add the washed and thoroughly drained clams. Cover the pan and mix the clams every few minutes. Add 1/2 glass of dry white wine and let it boil until the wine vaporizes and clams open.
Chop the parsley and throw it over the clams.
Add in the shrimps or other seafood of your choice together with the tomatoes and the previously removed garlic.
Stir in the prepared spaghetti and let the mixture simmer for a few more minutes before serving.