TRy Enrico's favourite summer pasta recipe. Originally, Spaghetti alle Vongole was a traditional Neapolitan pasta dish but is now made all over the peninsula. the addition of Sardinian Bottarga takes the dish to a different level! 

Bottargais cured fish roe, made from either grey mullet or tuna (known as bottarga di tonno). It is a real delicacy. This is by far Enrico's favourite holiday pasta dish when he visits Sardinia each year, where the majority of bottarga is produced. It is a shame that only a small percentage of the bottarga Italy produces makes it outside of the country, but we make sure some of it reaches the Villas as part of the 'Full Villas Experience' for our distinguished guests!


Spaghettini alle Vongole

Lemon Breadcrumbs & Tuna’s Bottarga

Week-days family pasta night 

Serves : 4 

Preparation & Cooking Time : 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500gr pasta spaghettini
  • 800gr fresh vongole clams
  • ½ dry red chilli, crushed
  • Coarse sea salt
  • ½ bunch flat leaf parsley
  • ½ glass dry white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 organic lemon, zest only
  • 100gr of breadcrumbs
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed

To serve

  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped finely
  • 60gr Tuna’s bottarga
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

- There are different ways to clean your clams, anyway you are planning to do this make sure it is done properly because as you know, crunching into gritty clams is enough to ruin anyone’s summer meal. My favourite method is by gently tapping the clams with open shells against the counter top. Discard any clams that do not close their shells within a few minutes or that have cracked or chipped shells.

- Place the clams in a bowl and fill it with cool tap water, enougth salt to make the water taste like seawater, let them sit for 20 minutes. During this time, the clams will spit out the sand from inside their shells. Remove the clams from the bowl they have been soaking in with a slotted spoon, so that any sand is left at the bottom of the bowl, rinse in a colander and transfer to a clean bowl.

- In the meantime, inside a small pan, heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over a medium heat. When hot add the breadcrumbs and stir to evenly coat in the oil, toasting for a few minutes until light golden brown, then remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl with the lemon zest.

- Place a large pot over the stove on a high heat, I normally use the rule of the 1000ml-100gr-10gr, 1lt of water for 100gr of dry pasta with 10gr of sea salt.

- Cook the spaghettini al dente in salted boiling water.

- Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large sautée pan with a lid. Gently fry the garlic and peperoncino chilli until soft, add the clams followed by the white wine covering with the lid straight away. Carefully give the pan a good shake, holding the lid firmly in place, and cook for 2 minutes more or until the clams have all opened. Remove the pan from the heat, pick through the clams and discard any that haven’t opened and toss the lemon breadcrumbs off the heat.

- Drain the pasta in a large colander holding one glass of cooking water,

- In the large sautée pan toss the spaghetti through the white wine and clam sauce until well-coated on a medium heat, adding one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and some of the reserved cooking water.

- Serve in pasta bowls with grounded black pepper, a sprinkle of chopped parsley and freshly grated bottarga.

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