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Every time I come across fresh succulent clams at the wet market, I just cannot give it a miss. My family loves them stir-fry with lots of minced garlic, ginger & chillies to go with steamed rice or done Italian style as in Spaghetti Vongole.

I especially like clams from the Philippines as they are fleshy and tasty. They have distinctive patterned shells which make pretty decorations – we put the empty shells in our flower pots. These live clams are available at Sheng Siong Supermarkets as well as some wet markets too.

For this recipe, vacuum packed frozen cooked clams that are easily available at most supermarkets can also be used.

SPAGHETTI VONGOLE

Ingredients (for 4 people) :
250gm spaghetti
500gm clams
20 cherry tomatoes (to prepare ahead – see (1) below)
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
A bunch of fresh basil
A bunch of fresh lemon thyme
2 to 3 Bird’s Eye Chilli (chilli padi), seeded and sliced
Lemon Pepper seasoning  (MasterFood brand – available in supermarkets)
200ml white wine
½ cup olive oil

Method :
1)   Cut tomatoes into halves. Season with salt, pepper, dry mixed herbs and some minced garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and leave to bake at 180°C for 20mins.

2)   Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Put in the spaghetti and cook until al dente (or follow cooking instructions on the packaging). When done, discard the hot water and leave pasta in the pot. DO NOT wash the cooked pasta with cold water so as to retain the starch. Set aside.

3)   Wash and scrub clams until thoroughly clean. Drain and put aside.

4)   Heat olive oil in a frying pan and fry minced garlic and sliced chillies until fragrant.

5)   Add clams and stir-fry for one minute. Drizzle with white wine and continue to stir-fry for another minute. Add basil and lemon thyme, stir well and cover pan. Leave clams to cook for another 5 mins or so until all the clams have opened.

6)   Add in baked tomatoes and mix well.

7)   Add the cooked pasta. Drizzle some olive oil over the pasta and stir well to let the spaghetti absorb the flavourful clam juices.  Season with lemon pepper seasoning (this seasoning has salt in it so add according to taste).

8)   Serve immediately.

– Spaghetti Vongole (Spaghetti with Clams)

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