The Lovely fresh clams from the area are a mainstay in La Cucina Veneziana. I think that Spaghetti with Clam Sauce is probably one of the most popular dishes here in Venice. Our Vongole Verace (local clams) are so good, you can taste the sea. We try not to complicate this recipe, letting the clams have center stage.
Spaghetti with Clam Sauce
Baby clams will work well with this recipe, if not you can chop larger sized clams into bite sized pieces
3 1/2 lbs of fresh clams the smaller the better (note- this will yield about 1 1/5-2 cups of cooked clams
6 tbls extra virgin olive oil
fresh hot pepper or hot pepper flakes to taste
1 tbls fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
1 lb spaghetti (high quality)
1 cup dry white wine
4 large garlic cloves
sea salt and ground pepper
-Place the clams in the sink in cold lightly salted water let sit for at least an hour, drain until ready to cook
-In a large skillet, add 2 tbls olive oil, 2 large garlic cloves smashed or sliced and hot pepper or hot pepper flakes, on a lively heat, lightly brown the garlic, carefully add the clams, and the white wine, stir well and place a lid on the skillet…. checking occasionally and stirring keep cooking the clams until they all open, this takes approx 5-10 minutes. Turn of the heat and let cool.
-When the clams are cool enough to touch, take them out of their shell and place them in a bowl, discard shells….. IMPORTANT reserve all the liquid in the pan
-Using a strainer, place paper towel inside and filter the clam broth liquid from the cooked clams. This will filter the sand, pepper and garlic. Place broth aside.
-In a pasta pot bring water to boil for the spaghetti
-In a skillet large enough to mix the spaghetti clam mixture, add 4 tbls olive oil, 2 crushed cloves of garlic, additional hot pepper,lightly brown the garlic, add the clams and 1 cup of the broth and cook reducing the broth by 1/2. If sauce look dry use more of the clam broth, add parsley
-When pasta water boils, add sea salt and spaghetti cook 1 minutes less than indicated on package. With a Pasta fork, drain each scoop over the water pot, add the spaghetti to the clam sauce and with a lively flame incorporate the spaghetti with the clams sauce mix well