Monday, December 5, 2016

Recipes: Angel Hair Vongole

Henry Tan | 4:59 PM |
Most of us would be familiar with Spaghetti Vongole, which is an Italian spaghetti with clams. Instead of using the thick spaghetti, I opt for angel hair, also known as Capellini, which is the thinnest round pasta strand. For my personal preference, I always like my spaghetti to go with thick creamy sauce, while angel hair would be better to go with watery soup

Here's my Angel Hair Vongole recipe! 

You may have heard from news that recently it is the season for clams! So baby and I decided to cook Angel Hair Vongole at home. I bought the clams (we called it Kappa in Hokkien) at Sungai Ara morning market which is just within walking distance to my house. The uncle was selling at a price of RM5 per kg. Since it is a bit overproduction now, they are cheaper than usual! Which is also another reason for you to try it now! 

So here's the ingredients I used:
Serving for 5 pax
2kg of fresh Clams (Kappa)
500g of Angel Hair (1 packet)
1 big head of Garlic (around 15 cloves)
5 dried chilies
1 small bunch of fresh English Parsley
250ml of KaoLiang/Sorghum Wine (supposed to be white wine)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Youtube video at the end of the post for reference!

Easy to follow procedures:
Soak the clams for few hours in salt water. This should give clams enough time to purge sand and grit. Use a knife to slice through the shell to make sure they are fresh and alive. Once you slice thru with a knife, a fresh clam should be able to hold their shells back together tightly. 

This technique can also ensure that the clam is clean and does not contains any sand or mud. Even though it is a bit tedious to do it one by one, but it is worthwhile as the last thing you would want is to find sand or mud in your spaghetti! 

Wash the clams thoroughly and keep it aside. Start preparing other ingredients by dicing them with knife. Well, since I recently got my Tefal Manual Chopper (Get it here!), so it's time to make good use of it without going thru all the hard work. 

1 big head of garlic, 5 dried chilies and 1 small bunch of fresh English Parsley were all chopped within a minute! Tefal Manual Chopper (Get it here!) certainly makes my cooking process so much easier! But do take note that if you want it to be faster, you can slightly tear them into smaller pieces first before putting into the chopper. 

Next, boiled a big pot of water to cook the angel hair. Add the pasta to the boiling water with a few pinch of salt and cook according to packet instructions until al dente. Do remember that for angel hair, it takes shorter time to cook as they are thinner than the spaghetti.

While waiting, get a hot pan or pot (in my case as I'm serving for 5!) to kick start! Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil into the pot until it covers all the surface area. Add in all the chopped garlic, dried chilies and English Parsley. Stir everything around constantly and just as the garlic starts to color, add in the clams and pour in the wine.   

Shake the pot to make sure all the clams are cooked evenly. Once most of the clams are opened, take the pot off the heat. By now the angel hair should be about perfect. Drain and add them into the pot of clams along with an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. I also drizzled in a few round of Benedictine DOM to give the extra kick!

Stir and toss for another minute or two to let the appetizing seashore juices from the clams to be absorbed into the pasta. Some leftover starch from the angel hair can help thicken the soup a little too. Done! Serve it right away! 

How to make it better?
As you can see from the photos, it is not all perfect. The angel hair actually became too soft and broken easily when stirred with clams. So it could be better if I cook the pasta for shorter time even before it became al dente. 

Another suggestion is to separate out the clams from the pot before adding in the pasta. This way you can soak the pasta easily in the clam soup while it is also easier to serve with a better food presentation. 

That's all very easy right! Go try it yourself and let me know your experience too!
Happy cooking! ;)
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