The dish is a beautiful combination of the saltiness and tenderness of the clams and the subtle heat of the chili, all balanced by the freshness of garlic, parsley, and a splash of white wine.
Linguine alle Vongole are a celebration of the sea, and their simplicity is what makes them truly brilliant.
- 12 ounces (340g) linguine pasta
- 2 pounds (900g) fresh live clams (Vongole)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional/adjust to taste)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) dry white wine
- 1/2 cup (120ml) clam juice or seafood broth
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Start by cleaning the clams. Place them in a large bowl of cold water with about 2 tablespoons of salt. Let them sit for 30 minutes to allow them to purge any sand and impurities. Afterward, rinse them thoroughly under cold running water.
- While the clams are soaking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the linguine according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside, reserving a cup of pasta cooking water.
- In a large, deep skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté for about 1-2 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant but not browned.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the cleaned clams to the pan. Stir them around for a minute or so.
Pour in the white wine, and a pinch of black pepper. Cover the pan and let the clams steam for about 5-7 minutes, or until they open. Discard any clams that do not open.
- Add the cooked linguine to the pan and toss everything together. If the pasta looks too dry, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water to reach your desired consistency. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the pasta to absorb the flavors.
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in the fresh chopped parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. The clams will naturally release their briny juices, so be cautious with the salt.
- Serve immediately, garnished with extra chopped parsley if desired.
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