Pasta with clams is traditionally a Neapolitan dish par excellence. However it is not wrong to say that it’s a widely diffused universal course by now, especially in all of the places that overlook the sea. And since Sicily is a sea place, which has many similarities with Neapolitan cuisine, we tought it was suitable to talk about the pasta with clams typical of Sicily.
There are two schools of thought in Neapolitan cuisine; one of them considers just the clams and the other one also includes the cherry tomatoes, which are considered an optional ingredient. Anyway it is really important to have fresh clams (genuine clams as they say in Naples). Therefore, after you’ve bought this essential ingredient, you can taste this dish “white” or with the cherry tomatoes. In both cases you’ll taste an excellent dish, it is just a matter of taste.
We’ve choosen the “colored” version , using the I.G.P. Pachino cherry tomato typical of our land, which is well suitable for the preparation of this seafaring dish.
Ingredients serves 4 people
400 g of spaghetti (or vermicelli or linguini)
300 g of I.G.P. Pachino cherry tomatoes
1 kg fresh genuine clams
Half a glass of dry white wine
2 cloves of garlic
A teaspoon of sugar
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
A bunch of parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill a pot with salted water and put the clams in it. Allow them to clean for a few hours.
Wash them and beat them, one by one, from the part of the back, on the bottom of the sink. This is necessary to remove the clams possibly full of sand. Wash them and put them in a pan, cover it with the lid and then put it on high heat. Add the white wine after a couple of minutes, and pan-fry, shaking the pan from time to time, until the clams will all be open. Now, remove the shell of some of the clams, leaving the rest with the shell for garnishing.
Seep the cooking liquid (this will be the seasoning that completes the dish) being careful not to seep the liquid at the bottom of the pan (there might be some sand residual).
Gently fry the garlic with some tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan, taking care not to fry it too much. Remember that you can gently fry the garlic after you’ve finely chopped it or whole and then remove it after having fryed it. Add the cherry tomatoes, preferably peeled and cut into small pieces, and a teaspoon of sugar (to remove the acidity) and let them lightly fry. Now add the clams, the finely chopped parsley and the seeped cooking liquid. Season to taste if necessary , but taste first. The black pepper should be freshly ground.
Cook the pasta al dente in properly salted water. When ready add the pasta to the clams and mix it, on high heat for a few minutes , making sure to add a bit of pasta’s cooking water. Finally, add a little olive oil and serve.