Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Black Pasta Vongole

Happy 2013 everyone. After lots of celebration and perhaps a little too much food I just needed something lighter for a change. I have had a bag of black pasta standing in the cupboard for some time, so I thought it was time to use it. Black pasta is nothing but regular pasta dyed with squid ink. It tastes pretty much the same as regular pasta so don't let it put you off. But it gives a beautiful contrast to many dishes such as this Vongole. Plus, it's really fast food. The time it will take you to boil the pasta is approximately the same you need to cook the rest. For 2 people you'll need:

300g black pasta
Handful of flat-leaf parsley
3 cloves of garlic
Small handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
500g small fresh clams
1 small glass of white wine
Crushed cayenne to taste
Salt, pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter (can be left out)

 Prepare the veggies. Don't tell me it isn't easy to remember which when you line them up like the Italian flag. Set a bit of the parsley aside for decoration. Then, start boiling the pasta according to the package while you heat up some olive oil in a large frying pan (preferably one with a lid) to medium high temperature.
When the oil is hot, toss in the garlic, tomatoes and the cayenne. 
 As soon as the garlic starts to get lightly brown (almond colour), throw in the parsley and stir it once. 
Then pour in the glass of wine, let it evaporate for a couple of minutes, just to get rid of the alcohol flavour. Then throw in the clams. As always, discard any clams that are open before cooking, and any that aren't open after cooking. Put a lid on and shake the entire pan several times, so the clams move around a bit and get steamed equally. It should take somewhere between 3 to 4 minutes for them to open and be cooked.
 The pasta should be ready by now. Mix it in with the clams and tomatoes. Add, if you like, a spoonful of butter for extra richness or sprinkle with good virgin olive oil and decorate with some extra parsley.
Serve on a hot plate.