Bucatini alla Vongole: A Delightful Seafood Pasta Dish
Today, I'm excited to share with you a timeless classic from the coastal regions of Italy: Bucatini alla Vongole. This pasta dish combines the richness of perfectly cooked al dente bucatini with the briny sweetness of fresh clams, all bathed in a delicate white wine and garlic sauce. Let's dive into this Mediterranean delight!
Bucatini alla Vongole, or white clam pasta, is a beloved dish that showcases the freshest seafood and the simplicity of Italian cuisine. The star of this recipe is the vongole, or clams, which infuse the dish with their natural flavors, creating a taste that is both delicate and satisfying.
The first step in preparing this dish is to source the freshest clams available. Look for small, sweet clams, such as Manila or littleneck clams, as they tend to have the best flavor and texture. Once you have your clams, make sure to clean them thoroughly, discarding any clams that are open or cracked.
12 ounces (340g) bucatini pasta
2 pounds (900g) fresh clams, cleaned
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
1/2 cup (120ml) dry white wine
1/4 cup (60ml) clam juice (optional)
1/4 cup (60ml) fresh parsley, chopped
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook the bucatini pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet or deep pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant and golden.
Increase the heat to medium-high and add the cleaned clams to the pan. Pour in the white wine and clam juice (if using). Cover the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the clams open up. Discard any clams that do not open.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a bowl, leaving the flavorful liquid in the pan.
Add the cooked bucatini pasta to the pan with the reserved liquid, tossing gently to coat the pasta evenly. If the sauce seems too dry, you can add a splash of pasta cooking water.
Add the cooked clams back into the pan, along with the fresh parsley. Give it a gentle toss, allowing the flavors to mingle for another minute or so.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Serve the Bucatini alla Vongole immediately, garnished with additional parsley if desired. Enjoy this seafood pasta dish with a crisp glass of white wine and some crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.