15 (Mon) March 2010
Spaghetti alle Vongole
-Oksu (Joongang Heights Apts), Seongdong, Seoul, Korea-
with the Family
My favorite pasta dish of all time.
Apparently, vongole pasta is meant to be simple. Most recipes that I’ve encountered for the white variety call for clams, which are called “vongole” in Italian, along with just olive oil, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper. The red variety includes tomatoes. Otherwise, that’s it.
By contrast, my takes on vongole tends to be more intricate. I always start with a soffrito consisting of minced onions and celery, plus zucchini, as here, if available. On occasion, subject to whatever’s on hand, I also incorporate other vegetables as a main ingredient, such as mushrooms or asparagus. I always use white wine in the sauce, which is an American thing, supposedly. I always, always use butter. I sometimes use cream and maybe grated parmesan cheese. I’m aware that any or all of these additions are not strictly traditional, but I’ve found that they make for a richer and thus more satisfying dish.