The beautiful juices from the vongole add such a rich depth of flavour to this spaghetti, all complemented wonderfully with fresh herbs and chilli.
- 400 g spaghetti (or spaghettoni or linguine)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) good quality extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1-2 garlic cloves, unpeeled, bruised (or peeled and finely chopped if you prefer)
- 1 bird’s eye chilli, or to taste, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp ’nduja (see Notes)
- 5-6 parsley stalks, finely chopped
- 150 ml dry white wine
- 1 kg vongole, rinsed (see Notes)
- sea salt, to taste
- chopped parsley, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Fill a large saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and stir through so it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until almost al dente, stirring occasionally.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, chilli, ’nduja and parsley stalks, stir to combine and let it sizzle for about 15 seconds. Add the wine and vongole and simmer for 2 minutes or until the alcohol has evaporated. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly, keeping in mind that vongole will add their salty kick to the dish. Cover with a lid and steam the vongole for 2- 3 minutes to open up and release their beautiful juices.
3. When the pasta has cooked to about ¾, transfer straight out of the water into the pan with the vongole, dragging along some of the pasta cooking water (enough that the spaghetti can finish cooking until al dente and to allow the sauce to become creamy in texture). Remove from the heat, add the chopped parsley and a drizzle of extra oil if you wish, toss to combine well, then serve immediately!
• 'nduja is a type of spreadable salami from Calabria and can be purchased in Australia from speciality butchers and delicatessens, as well as online.
• 'Vongole' translates to English as 'clam'. They're found in seafood markets and are similar to pipis.
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