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    Spaghetti with clams

    An important decision to make is whether to prepare this dish with or without tomato. The original recipe called for it to be “in bianco” (white), that is, without red sauce. I’ll keep with tradition, and prepare it without tomatoes.

    Serves 4-6

    • 400g spaghetti
    • 1 kg clams
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1 handful of parsley
    • Salt and pepper
    • Extra virgin olive oil

    1. In a pan, sauté the garlic in the oil; you can add some chilli, even though the recipe calls for pepper. Toss in the drained clams and cover with a lid allowing the heat to open them.
    2. As the clams open, the shells release their liquid, conveying their briny goodness to this dish.
    3. Using a skimmer, collect the clams and set them aside, discarding any that haven’t opened.
    4. There are two things to remember. First, remove the clams as soon as they open; overcooking will dry and toughen the flesh. Second, once the clams have been removed from the pan, they need to stay warm; the best way to do this is to put them in a dish and cover with cling film.
    5. Cook the pasta as per instructions – in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water - but stop the cooking process just before the conventional al dente stage. The pasta should be firmer than usual.
    6. Return the pan with the clam juices onto a high flame, and toss in the spaghetti, taking them to optimal cooking point. The dish should have a creamy consistency. Sprinkle over minced parsley to add a slightly bitter edge, as well as for presentation.
    7. For the final touch, take the clams which had been set aside and scatter them over the spaghetti.