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Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spaghetti alle Vongole, a classic dish from Italy. Found on all the coast of the boot and Islands, some make good some make very blend, some make OK, but is hard to mess it up. Usually Spaghetti alle Vongole is served very simple, just with olive oil and white wine.
This is my version of the Spaghetti alle Vongole, the way I like. Adding a little bit of tomatoes, spice and why not some cilantro?



Spaghetti alle Vongole

1kg/2,2 Lbs fresh Vongole (Clams, from a clean sea)
1/2 chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic, sliced (No necessity to be super thin)
1 can tomatoes, crushed (Don't go cheap on that)
1 cup, dry white wine
4 tbsp Olive Oil
Crushed red peppers - Pepperoncini (Optional)
Hand Full of Fresh Parsley or why not cilantro?


Fill a large bowl with cold water and stir in enough salt to make it salty like the sea. Add vongole and let stand 30 minutes. Lift vongole from water and discard purging water; if there is sand in the bottom of the bowl, rinse it out and repeat this process until vongole no longer release sand into the water (usually 2 to 3 purging cycles). Discard any vongole that are gaping open and refuse to close when prodded.
In a large skillet, combine oil with garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat until garlic and onion are lightly golden, about 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as necessary to keep it gently sizzling).
Add white wine, tomatoes, pepperoncino and vongole, cover, and increase heat to high. Cook, checking every 30 seconds or so and transferring clams as they open to a large heatproof bowl, until all vongole have opened, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
Allow vongole to cool slightly, then pull meat from shells; save a few shell-on vongole per serving for garnish. If vongole meat is large (for example, from larger littleneck vongole), you can roughly chop it.
In a pot or large skillet of salted water, cook pasta until just shy of al dente (about 1 minute less than cooking time on package). Transfer pasta to skillet with white-wine sauce, add a few tablespoons of pasta cooking water, and cook over high heat, stirring and tossing rapidly, until sauce has reduced and is beginning to form a creamy, emulsified coating on the noodles. Add more olive oil, and both vongole meat and shell-on vongole. Cook, stirring, vongole are heated through, about 1 minute; add more pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if sauce over-reduces and becomes dry or greasy. Season with salt if necessary. Remove from heat.
Stir in parsley or the cilantro and a drizzle more fresh olive oil. Transfer to bowls and serve right away.