One of the signature dishes of my husband is Spaghetti alle Vongole (spaghetti with clams). It is served in almost every good fish restaurant in Puglia and one of my favourite dishes ever! The smaller the vongole, the better the taste, so always aim for the small ones when buying them.
Spaghetti alle Vongole (recipe for 4)
400 gr of spaghetti
1 kg of vongole veraci or telline
2 garlic cloves
1 small bunch of flat parsley
50ml of good olive oil (feel free to add more or less according to taste)
Salt & pepper
Soak the vongole in cold, salted water for 2 hours. Remove the ones with broken shells and rinse them in a colander. In a saucier put a bit of oil and fry one garlic clove until golden, then add the vongole. Cover and keep the fire quite high. Once the vongole opened, switch off immediately. Make sure not to overcook the vongole. Remove the vongole from the pan but save the liquid. Unshell half of the vongole and keep aside.
Start cooking the pasta according to instructions. Cook them until half done, then remove from the water but keep the water aside. While cooking the pasta, finely chop the parsley. In a large pan, add the remaining oil and the second garlic clove, then add the liquid that you saved from the vongole and reduce for some minutes so the sauce becomes a bit thicker. Add half of the parsley and the spaghetti and stir. Continue to cook the spaghetti in the pan and add all the vongole (with and without shells) and the remaining parsley. Stir and add pasta water if needed. Once the pasta is al dente, serve immediately.