The first time I cooked pasta with clams, I used white wine. I didn’t know the proper name for the dish but some readers supplied that information generously. Spaghetti alla Vongole.
This pasta with clams dish was cooked with red wine. I don’t know if it still falls within the Alla Vongole definition but I have to say it was good. It was the second pasta dish that I cooked a couple of days ago when I made the pasta with prawns in creamy garlic sauce for my husband and kids.
This dish was inspired by Mario Batali’s Steamed Cockles in a Habañero Chive Broth (Vongole al Vapore con Peperoncino di Jamaica e Hierba Cippollina) in the Celebrity Italian Table Cookbook. Batali’s is a soup dish; I decided to reduce the liquid until thick then I poured the clams with the sauce over cooked pasta.
Pasta with clams in red wine saucePrint Pin
- 500 grams fresh clams soaked and washed
- 200 grams uncooked pasta
- 1/2 head garlic peeled and finely minced
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 14-ounce can 14 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
- 1 large bunch fresh basil tough stalks discarded (or about a tablespoonful of dried basil)
- 2 cups red wine I used semi-sweet
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Soak the clams in water for several hours, changing the water often.
- Rinse the clams under running water until no trace of sand remains. Discard the clams that remain unopened.
- Heat the olive oil in a wide shallow pan.
- Add the garlic and onion; cook until they start to soften.
- Pour in the stewed tomatoes, breaking up large chunks.
- While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Pour in the red wine.
- Add the basil leaves.
- Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
- Simmer until the sauce has been reduced to half and has slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Add the clams. Simmer for about five minutes. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.
- Place the cooked pasta in individual bowls or plates. Ladle the clams and sauce over the pasta. Garnish with grated parmesan if you prefer.