How to Cook Spaghetti With Clams

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Spaghetti with clams is a great dish with a lot of rich, interesting flavors. Find out how to cook spaghetti with clams with help from the owner of a family Italian restaurant in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Italian Dishes
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Video Transcript

How we doing today? Alright my name is Clemenza Caserta. Today, we're going to be making a little linguini and clam sauce. Linguini, clam sauce is one of my favorites dishes. It comes from Naples and quite honestly my family is one of the first people in that restaurant, we had, use to have a restaurant in Naples, Caserta back in the 1800's. So to start the dish, very simple when you buy clams you're looking for something fresh, okay? Now the trick with clams and any seafood, muscles, any shell fish, you want to take, you want to rinse really well, you want to rinse them off, you want to rinse the sand out of it, you want nice clean seafood, you want to buy them fresh. So spend a little extra money on something nice. Now to start the dish garlic, a couple of different ways, there's a lot of different ways you do it. Some people take it they slice the garlic, they take it they smash it, depending on how you like it. Now when you smash garlic the thing is this it brings out all the oil, it's going to bring out a lot of flavor, that's kind of what I like to do. So with the back of your knife on a clove of garlic you take it and just gently push down it's going to smash the clove, very simple, give it a quick chop. Okay, now we got a little chopped garlic going on and the other ingredients are you're going to need a little crushed red pepper, okay a little red chili flake, some anchovy, now what I did with the anchovy, I took the fillet or you can buy the anchovy paste, same thing. Okay a little fresh parsley, a little fresh basil, very simple. Here's what we're going to do to start the dish, again you got your garlic. Okay what we're going to do we're going to get a little chopped parsley, now the trick with chopping parsley something quick and easy to do, you got roll it together, okay, very simple, hold your knife like this with the back of the knife again and just give it a quick little fast chop, bam there we go. And now same thing with the basil we're going to do what they call a chiffonade cut, big fancy word means nothing except for take the basil roll it again like this, basically it's a thin julienne, what you're going to do again a little chiffonade of basil, you want to make sure you do this with a really sharp knife and you got your basil cut right there. And here's how we're going to start the dish in a saute pan. Now most people you don't want to get your pan hot at first, you want to bring every thing up to temp in the oil. So a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, now what we're going to do is this a little chopped garlic, chopped garlic, bam okay, a little bit of chili flake, bam and we're going to start it with a little bit of anchovy paste. Now get this on the stove you're going to get it cooking while that's heating up it's going to take a couple of seconds to brown. Again I can't stress this anymore, I cannot stress the importance of this when it comes to clams or muscles or shell fish you want to clean them, you want to rinse them, you want to make sure they're nice and clean, you don't want any sand, you don't want any grit. Now the pasta we're going to use is linguini, now the trick with the pasta too is make sure when you're dropping pasta in the water you want to salt the water, the pasta does not have any flavor you want to salt your water. We're going to drop about a quarter pound of pasta in there, very simple. Okay, now the trick is right off the bat is to make sure you twirl the pasta in the basket and turn it so it doesn't stick together. Okay, now once this is browning like this, look at that, beautiful, you need to get that, that's frickin beautiful. Now a little basil in there, again garlic, crushed red pepper, a little anchovy. Now you don't, the thing with anchovy very salty, you only want to put a little, little pinch and most people never even know it's in there, that's a little trick for you guys. Okay that's about to brown we're going to add our clams or raccogliere, okay? Now another little trick once that's cooking, as that's cooking, you need something that's going to start to open the open the dishes up and again you're going to need something that has a little broth to it a little flavor so a little trick. Okay I got it, a little trick is to do a little chicken broth if you don't have chicken broth, if you don't have chicken broth you can use, that's going to help steam the calms too, what I like to actually use both, if you don't have chicken broth you can use a little bit of water from the pasta and what that is going to do the starch in the water is going to help thicken the sauce, it's going to bind the sauce and it's going to give it a little flavor. So add a little bit of water let it cook down now again season, always season, always taste, salt, pepper build your layers of flavor. Now me I like it a little spicy so I know I'm going to add a little more chili, a little black pepper, a little salt. Now some people will add wine, some people don't add wine, I always usually have a glass of wine, so I'm just going to hit it with a little bit of white wine, just to finish the dish, let it cook out for a few seconds. Take a look at that, look at that, once the calms have opened, once the calms have all steamed open. Okay like I said earlier if you got ones that don't open like this, you don't want to sit there and pry it open odds are it's probably no good, but just get rid of that. Take a look at that a little anchovy, a little garlic, absolutely beautiful, a little crushed red pepper, a little anchovy, a little garlic, a little crushed red pepper, a little fresh parsley. Doesn't get any better. Now very simple linguini depending on what kind pasta you buy, it'll depend on the cook time anyway when you do your pasta you want to do it al dente that's the key trick right there, but you don't want mushad the pasta meaning in Italian means mushad means mushy, you want a nice little bit to it al dente meaning firm to the bite, okay? Drop your pasta give it a quick little toss, like that, I'm going to finish it with a little chopped parsley. Now years ago, I'm going to say this,years ago in Italy it was a big no no to put cheese, I still believe that cheese and seafood what ever works, if you like Parmesan you put Parmesan you're not going to offend me.


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