Clams & linguine alle vongole

Unlike most people, I am not a huge fan of pasta and I don’t particularly like pasta with tomato-based sauces. My favourite pasta dish is linguine alle vongole, which is simple, easy and quick to cook but taste delicious.

Since I embarked on a ‘meatless’ home diet last year, I have been experimenting on many vegetarian dishes ( esp. recipes from ‘Plenty’ by Yotam Ottolenghi). As much as I want to become a vegetarian, I find it hard to quit seafood because like Rick Stein, I just love it too much!

I never understand why seafood is not appreciated as much here in England, it is an island afterall, so we should be getting affordable and fresh seafood at all times! Yet in reality, most of the catches from the U.K. are exported (for higher profits) to other countries and with higher demands, so we are left with limited choices and average quality seafood in supermarkets.

Apart from fishmongers (usually quite pricey), local markets are also good places to buy fresh and affordable seafood. Although I find Borough market quite overpriced and touristy ( try going there in on Thursdays/ Fridays), my mouth watered when I saw fresh clams at one of the fish stalls there as they reminded me of linguine alle vongole, a dish that I haven’t made for quite a while.

The ingredients for it are simple: clams, linguine, olive oil, chilli, garlic (lots of it), white wine and fresh parsley. The most important thing is not to overcook it and to clean the clams properly, i.e. scrubbing them first before soaking them in salted water for about an hour or more. I have had this dish in an upmarket Italian restaurant in Mayfair where sand was among the ingredients, not exactly a pleasant experience!

The next day, with the leftover (uncooked) clams, I made a sake-steamed clams, along with the teriyaki salmon that I marinated overnight… yum…

Nobody needs to be a Masterchef to enjoy some comforting home cooking!


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