Fabrizia Lanza is the director of the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School and Farm in Sicily, where she teaches traditional food practices to her guests—who include everyone from actors to food journalists to professional chefs. Her Cook the Farm program has been lauded in the international press as the best way to get serious about real Italian food, and her recipe for spaghetti alle vongole clearly captures the purity of the tradition. It’s no-nonsense and all about the clams.
- Soak the clams overnight in water and salt to clean them.
- Put the clams (still in their shells) in an open sauté pan with a little olive oil and a clove of garlic over low-medium heat. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Stir the clams until they are all open.
- Once all of the clams are open, add 1/2 cup of white wine, the parsley, and a second clove of thinly diced garlic (if desired). Stir and then remove from heat.
- Cook pasta as indicated in salted water.
- Drain the pasta one minute before done and add it to the sauté pan with the clams. Turn the heat on high and let the pasta cook the last minute together with the clams and their shells. Serve (with or without shells).