Linguini alla vongole, clams pasta

The nicest collaborations sometimes come out of the blue. Being in London for the past few weeks, I have been catching up with good old friends and taking the opportunity to make new ones as well. I met Noemi, a London based photographer from Sicily, we immersed ourselves in the world of our common passion – food photography- and enjoyed a wonderful dish of linguini alla vongole. Greece met Italy, in London.

Head straight to the recipe.

With Noemi we met a very sunny London morning. We had made little plans on what to cook.  It wasn’t hard to decide a dish on the spot. A warm, bright day can only make you think of one thing: seafood! Which also brings us both a little closer to home.  Being on the same line of work, food photography, chat comes effortlessly. Unavoidably it revolves around forks, spoons and all the goodness these can bring together. Most notably good food and great shots.

In London, you can literally find all your heart desires. Our clams, are not the traditional small clams used in Italy, but British ones, sourced from northern shores. We grabbed a bunch of fragrant parsley from the local farmers market and a simple dry white wine did just fine. Once we got home, the pots were on fire, a couple of garlic cloves roughly chopped, in went the clams and fire was mellowed by a glass of wine. This is pretty much all you need for one of the most iconic pasta dishes Italian cuisine has ever offered: linguini alla vongole.

I have a soft spot for seafood, exactly for how quick and easy it is to cook. There is no need to mention their divine flavour, if you are a seafood lover you know these little clams will bring all the goodness of the sea to your table. For me, this quick dish was extra special. I gave the camera to Noemi and had fun food styling and slurped on an extra bowl of linguini behind the set.

Linguini alla vongole

Ingredients

  • 1 kg clams, scrubbed clean
  • 1 small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 200 ml dry white wine
  • 400 g dried spaghetti
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  •  1-2 dried chilies, if you like it spicy

How to make it:

  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil with a bit of salt and cook the linguini to your liking, al dente is best.
  2. Whilst the pasta is boiling, peel and chop the garlic cloves and prepare the parsley. Clean the clams, discarding any broken shells.
  3. Heat up a spoonful of olive oil and add the garlic and chillies if using, stir fry for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the clams, pour in the wine and put the lid on top.
  5. The clams will start opening in approximately 3-4 minutes, keep shaking until they have all opened, remove from heat and discard any closed ones.
  6. Grab a pair of tongs and move the pasta in the clams’ pot, simmer for a couple of minutes so that the linguini soak up the juices.
  7. Add the parsley, add seasoning to your liking and an extra helping of olive oil. Toss well and you are ready to serve.

You can see more of Noemi’s work here. Enjoy your linguini al dente and with a chilled white wine.

From London with love,

Eugenia

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagramby feather

Fish soup, kakavia

the best of the Med

kakavia - eat yourself greek

Greece being a sea-faring nation, fish and sea-food comes often in the cooking spotlight. We have a fish soup called kakavia. Traditionally, kakavia was prepared by fishermen on the boat. Once they were done fishing, a meal would be prepared with whatever they had at hand: an onion, a potato and the humblest of their catch, keeping the best for the market. Kakavia is more of a concept than a recipe. In line with the Greek cooking practices, you have very few but very fresh ingredients and you make an extraordinary meal almost out of nothing.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagramby feather

Octopus with macaroni

octopus with macaroni

If you like seafood you have probably explored many different dishes. I used to get some really funny looks when asking for octopus at fish counters back in the UK. Maybe tentacles wake up lovecraftian horrors in people’s minds. But nothing could deter me when I thought of octopus with macaroni! There’s no reason to fear octopus, their tentacles are mouth-wateringly fleshy and tender when cooked properly. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagramby feather

Stuffed squid in the pot

squid and herbs

Greece is a paradise for fish and sea-food. Personally, I will be forever divided between kalamari (squid), octopus and prawns – not to mention the smaller delicacies like clams, scallops and even… sea-urchins! We love our kalamari fried, but honestly this is more of a tavern specialty, perfect to enjoy with a glass of ouzo on a sunny day. At home it’s a different story. We relish squid and make it go a long way with a stew.
Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagramby feather