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Milk Street Recipe

Spaghetti with Clams (Spaghetti con Vongole)

35 minutes

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Spaghetti with Clams (Spaghetti con Vongole)

At Perduto, a canal-side restaurant in Venice, Italy, chef Gianpiero Turdo taught us how to make a regional pasta classic: bigoli con vongole (bigoli with clams). The al dente pasta, garlic, wine, parsley and briny clams were a seamless blend of complementary flavors and the deliciousness of the dish belied the ease with which it came together. Bigoli is a long, thick, round extruded noodle, sometimes made with whole-wheat flour, sometimes with eggs. At Perduto, the bigoli is house made. In the U.S., easier-to-find spaghetti or bucatini are good substitutes. We prefer littleneck clams for this recipe, but manila clams also work. Whichever variety you use, scrub the clams well to remove as much grit as possible. When boiling the pasta, be sure to drain it when it is not quite al dente. The noodles will finish cooking in the reduced clam juices, a technique that infuses the spaghetti with the sweet briny notes of the clams.




Don’t use more than 2 quarts of water to cook the pasta and don’t forget to reserve about 2 cups of water before draining the spaghetti. The idea is for the pasta water to be extra-starchy so that when some is added at the end of cooking, it gives the sauce body and clingability.

35 minutes


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