Linguine with clams

Linguine alle Vongole

Campagna (but also many other coastal regions)

Serves 4

450 g (1 Ib) Clams (Vongole) or can also be made with mussels (cozze) in which case you’ll need 900 g or 2 lb mussels

350 g (12 oz) linguine

50 ml (2 fl oz) virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 red chilli, seeded and very finely chopped

3 tablespoons roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons dry white wine

  1. Scrub the shells of the clams with a stiff brush and check that they are all tightly closed.
  2. Bring a large pan of well salted water to the boil and cook the linguine for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small pan and soften the sliced garlic, then add the chilli and parsley. Remove from the heat.
  4. Drain the pasta through a colander and return the pan to a high heat. Add the white wine, then the clams and then the pasta. Cover the pan to trap the steam and speed up the cooking of the clams but occasionally stir the clams and pasta to redistribute them.

When the clams have all opened, remove the lid and add the oil, garlic, chilli and parsley and let the juices reduce for about 2 minutes. The pasta should be just cooked, but if it is too hard for your liking, replace the lid and cook gently for a couple more minutes. Serve with plenty of bread.

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