What’s For Dinner?
Spaghetti e Vongole (Spaghetti and Clams)
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
5:30 CHALLENGE: 5 INGREDIENTS, 30 MINUTES
The clams' briny liquid mingles with the wine and garlic for a silky coating. Here, the parsley is not just a garnish; it's a main ingredient adding pungent freshness. As always, when cooking with wine, use one worth drinking; it won't suddenly improve just because it's been heated. I like to remove each clam when it opens, to make sure it doesn't overcook, but you can leave them in until they all open, if you have other things that need your attention.
-- Jeanne Besser
Hands on time: Total time: 30 minutes Serves: 4
3/4 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup dry white wine
2 to 3 dozen (depending on your budget!) littleneck clams, scrubbed or rinsed clean
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Meanwhile, in a large well-oiled skillet over medium-high heat, saute the garlic for 1 minute or until fragrant and lightly golden. Add wine and clams. Cover and cook, checking every few minutes to remove clams that have opened, letting their liquid drip into the pan. Re-cover and continue cooking until all clams have opened, 3 to 8 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open. When all clams have been removed, add pasta and parsley to pan and stir to combine and coat with liquid. Add reserved clams and juice and toss quickly to rewarm. If necessary, add pasta water a tablespoon at a time to just moisten. Season with salt and pepper.
Variation: If you're not a parsley fan, substitute another fresh herb like basil.
Add-on: For a richer sauce, swirl in 2 tablespoons butter to the sauce. For those who want a little heat, add some hot red pepper flakes with the garlic.