Sometimes, I am wondering if in past lives I was an Italian. This could be an excuse for my deeply, madly, truly passion for pasta. Any kind of pasta. Any time of the day. Any time of the year.
Thus, I couldn’t resist for making one of my favourite recipes; spaghetti alle vongole (or almost spaghetti alle vongole). I have cooked the recipe three times. The first time an uninvited ingredient caused the damage: the SAND. Ok, maybe because I live in Greece I am familiar with sea, sun and sand but not inside my food. I couldn’t blame anyone but myself since I did not pay the necessary attention during the cleaning procedure of the clams.
A mistake that I didn’t repeat the second time, I used a toothbrush for their cleaning since the clams had streaks in their shell (I used cockles (kidonia) since I couldn’t find in Thessaloniki any vongole). Everything was perfect, I have cooked the most delicious sea food spaghetti I have ever eaten.
That’s why when clean Monday arrived (Clean Monday is a public holiday in Greece, where it is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of shellfish and other fasting food, a special kind of azyme bread, baked only on that day, named “lagana” and the widespread custom of flying kites. Eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Orthodox Christians throughout Lent, with fish being eaten only on major feast days, but shellfish is permitted in European denominations. This has created the tradition of eating elaborate dishes based on seafood (shellfish, molluscs, fish roe etc.)) I decided to cook the recipe once again. This time, I used venus clams in order to avoid toothbrush cleaning since their shell is smooth.
This time there was no sand but I think that the dish was a little bit salty, maybe because I have put a lot of salt during the cleaning procedure of the clams or venus clams are not appropriate for this recipe. So, avoid them.
What have I learnt from these three attempts? BUY THE CORRECT TYPE OF CLAMS AND CLEAN THEM THOROUGHLY. Prerequisite; Listen to this:
I followed a recipe by the “My little expat kitchen”. You can find the recipe by clicking here.