Make the Best Spaghetti With Clams – Pasta All’Amalfitana
An Amalfi Coast Special
Release the well-known aphrodisiac power of seashells in this easy to make spaghetti with clams recipe that will make your dinner special! Date night, a memorable Valentine’s Day meal or even a regular easy dinner would become notable when you add a touch of Italian cuisine magic!
The truth be told, no Italian food can go wrong, but you can make it just a bit more particular by adding ingredients that work wonders to a relatively simple dish. Imagine the sparkle this dish can ignite on Valentine’s Day!
To many, pasta with clams does not even need a special occasion to make a great dinner. However, a good presentation, an excellent wine and a story to accompany it can make every evening a tad more distinctive!
In Italy’s charming Campania region, South of Naples, there is a world-famous road called the Amalfi Coast Drive. Stretching a little over thirty miles From Positano to Vietri Sul Mare, the magnificent Amalfi Coast is nothing but breathtaking scenery.
The narrow road bends at various altitudes, from sea level to hundreds of metres up on sheer cliffs. You get the feeling that you hover over the azure abys of the Tyrrhenian Sea, part of the broader Mediterranean. Not an easy drive if you have an issue with heights, but still enthralling!
The region is insanely bright, with picturesque and quirky, picture-perfect towns strewn along in the yellow stone, the most well-known being Positano, Ravello or Amalfi.
Thousands of colourful houses perched upon the rock, church bell towers, chic hotels and restaurant terraces line up the length of the drive. Caves open in the limestone, and natural stone arches spring up from the mountain. It is an astonishing mix of natural beauty and human-made enrichment that mesmerizes anyone who visits the area.
I vividly remember one incident when the tour bus I was on got stopped by a flock of sheep crossing the road. The coastal drive was so narrow, quite harrowing at times, and the herd had no choice but to follow the asphalt way for about a hundred meters.
The modern-times shepherd, dressed in jeans and printed t-shirt, with headphones over his ears and a wooden stick to guide his flock, stopped for a casual chat with the bus driver. He recounted how often he had to do this.
Famous for their heated temperament, Italian drivers would protest vehemently and exaggeratedly gesticulate their exasperation.
Ma che posso fare io? Anche le povere pecorine devono mangiare! What can I do? The poor sheep must eat as well!
The man was calmness personified. The voice of reason spoke through him.
He was right! Rows upon rows of crammed houses covered the slope from sea level to as far high as people could carry building materials—the poor animals aimed for the top of the cliffs for green meadows.
I expect such encounters were frequent. The sheep got used to ignoring people, cars and irritating honking. The shepherd had an opportunity to chat with other humans. As for the tourists, what better opportunity to marvel at the scene and take thousands of clips to show back home?
If you’re driving towards Salerno, by now, you would have (probably) visited Naples, the ruins of Pompeii or Herculaneum and the stunning island of Capri. Hopefully, you would have stopped in Sorrento for a stroll on the beautiful commercial streets and entered at least one Pasticceria.
If any maleficent forces conspired against you to miss the mouth-watering Neapolitan pastries, you still have Salerno farther down the road to rectify the injustice!
When you stop for lunch, you’ll notice that seafood is omnipresent. After all, local fishers deliver every morning loads of fresh clams, molluscs, octopus, sea urchins and shrimps that make the delicious plates served in the elegant restaurants along the road.
Not only this is a thriving local industry, but the health benefits of what nature has to offer is an opportunity the Amalfitans moulded into culinary art.
The Italians eat pasta every day and still consider it a healthy lifestyle. I’ve had my doubts, but what if the western carb neurosis is just a myth in the end?
After all, the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world. To understand more about it, watch Down to Earth With Zac Efron; you will be in for a few surprises.
Even if you have never tried seafood or find it funny to think of weird, other-worldly looking creatures that are not pork, beef or mutton on your plate, you should still give it a try. I am sure it will change your perception and level of appreciation!
If I could drive down the Amalfi Coast every day of my life, I would have spaghetti alle vongole each time, exquisite in their simplicity! Make an effort and learn the easy Italian words for spaghetti with clams if you want to impress the waiter and your entourage!
Like many other pasta dishes, spaghetti with clams require only a handful of ingredients, yet the result is so delightful that you’ll congratulate yourself for giving it a try!
So, give it a try, regardless of whether you are in a restaurant or your kitchen at home! And perhaps make it a habit around Valentine’s; you will love the effects of a perfect, romantic dinner!
Ingredients for spaghetti with clams
A pack of spaghetti
Fresh clams (frozen, if fresh not available)
A good quality extra virgin olive oil
Half a glass of dry white wine
A bunch of fresh parsley
A pinch of sea salt and a dash of freshly ground black pepper
Rinse the clams thoroughly in cold water. Drain.
Before working on the sauce, boil the spaghetti in water (add a pinch of salt). I prefer pasta al dente, but there is no exact time to obtain the right texture. The only way to get it right is to try and see if you’ve reached the desired consistency. When you decide the pasta is ready, drain it immediately.
Meantime, in a large saucepan, heat the extra virgin olive oil. Add garlic (sliced), cherry tomatoes (halved), salt, pepper and chilli flakes—cook for a minute.
Add the wine. When it starts boiling, add the clams and cover the pan with a lid. Allow to steam for a few minutes until the shells begin to open.
If you decide to use prawns, now is the moment to add them (make sure to wash them before.) I prefer not to cut the prawns as they shrink at high temperatures. Stir for one minute.
Add the spaghetti to the saucepan over the clams and stir well. Turn the hob off and add the parsley (finely chopped). You should never cook the parsley if you want to preserve the aroma.
You can sprinkle a few drops of crude extra virgin olive oil to enhance the flavour, then serve, preferably with a Pinot Grigio or even a sparkling white.
Spaghetti With Clams
- 500 g spaghetti
- 500 g clams
- 500 g cherry tomatoes
- 100 ml olive oil extra virgin
- ½ glass whte wine dry
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 1 pinch sea/rock salt
- 1 dash black pepper freshly ground
- Rinse the clams thoroughly in cold water and drain well.
- Before you start working on the sauce, boil the spaghetti in slightly salted water.
- Meantime, in a large saucepan, heat the extra virgin olive oil.
- Add garlic (sliced), cherry tomatoes (halved), salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Cook for a minute.
- Add the wine.
- When it starts boiling, add the clams and cover the pan with a lid. Allow to steam for a few minutes, until the shells begin to open.
- If you decided to use prawns, wash and add them to the mix. I prefer not to cut the prawns as they shrink at high temperature. Stir for one minute.
- When you decide the pasta is ready, drain it immediately.
- Add the spaghetti to the clam mix in the saucepan and stir well.
- Turn the hob off and add the parsley (finely chopped). You should never cook the parsley if you want to preserve the aroma.
- You can sprinkle a few drops of crude extra virgin olive oil to enhance the flavour.
- Serve with a Pinot Grigio or even a sparkling white.
Disclaimer: If you have a shellfish allergy, do not follow this recipe!
I hope you enjoyed reading this spaghetti with clams recipe and decided to give it a go! You will find more like this in the Savour the Flavour section of this blog or on my Pinterest board with the same name. Please share it on your easy dinners board; it will help this blog grow and motivate me to write more for your enjoyment! Thank you!