Pasta con le Vongole - Pasta with Clams

  • Small sack of clams
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 fresh, hot red pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • Small handful of Italian parsley
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
Place clams in a strainer and then into a large bowl of fresh water so that the sand they release floats to the bottom of the bowl. Let them stand at least an hour to be sure they are free of sand.

In a pan, warm chopped garlic and hot pepper in olive oil. Add clams, salt, pepper and white wine; bring quickly to a boil, lower heat and cover. Shake the pan a few times and when the clams pop open after a few minutes, add a bit of lemon juice and chopped parsley. Boil pasta in salted water until not quite done; drain, and add it to the pan with the clams to finish cooking. The pasta will absorb the liquid from the pan as it cooks. Serve all together with plenty of napkins and a little bowl for discarded shells.

Serves 4