spaghettini in clam broth with cherry tomatoes
umido di vongole con spaghettini e pomodorini
makes 4 primi servings
- 1 small leek, thinly sliced into rounds
- Fine sea salt
- 2 1/4 pounds Manila or small littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 1/4 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 pound spaghettini or spaghetti
- 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley plus more for garnish
- 1 small carrot, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
Wash leek well in a bowl of cold water, agitating it, then lift out and pat dry. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large heavy pot with lid, combine clams, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and wine.
Cover and cook over high heat, shaking pan occasionally, just until clams open, 5 to 7 minutes (littlenecks may take longer, depending on size; discard any clams that do not open). Reserving cooking liquid, transfer clams to a bowl, then strain cooking liquid into a bowl through a cheesecloth-lined fine-mesh sieve. Remove clams from shells; discard shells.
Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid, drain pasta and set aside (do not rinse).
In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 30 seconds, then add pasta and parsley; toss just to combine. Remove from heat.
In a second large skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add leek, carrot and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes. Add clams, clam juice and pasta cooking liquid; gently simmer until carrot is tender, about 5 minutes.
Ladle hot broth into bowls; top with pasta mixture and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
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