We always make sure our pastas are made fresh at The Dolphin Hotel. You can use dried pasta, but the difference between fresh and dried is night and day. The fresh pasta soaks up more of the flavour, thickens the sauce easier, and has a much better mouthfeel.
We use confit garlic in 90 per cent of our pasta dishes as it takes away the issue of burning and making the dish acrid. It also helps give the sauce a nice consistency, but you can replace it with finely chopped garlic — just be careful of it burning.
When choosing clams, I find the smaller type to be better suited to the dish. They cling to the pasta when eating and there’s also more of them which is always a good thing. Try and make sure you get purged, clean clams from fishmongers which will take away the worry of sand in the sauce.
200g vongole or Little Neck clams, purged and cleaned
220g fresh egg linguini
1tbs confit garlic
80ml white wine
1 large eschallot
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped and deseeded
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Flaked sea salt
- Put a pot of salted water on to a simmer.
- Warm a pan up with olive oil and sweat off the eshallot. Once a little soft, add confit garlic, chilli, and clams.
- Turn up the heat and shuffle the clams around in the pan, coating them in the olive oil and shallot mix. Deglaze the pan with white wine and cover with a lid.
- Once the clams have started to pop open, drop the pasta in the boiling water. Fresh pasta will take around two minutes. If you’re using dried, pre-cook beforehand as it takes longer than the clams to cook.
- Now the clams are open, simmer the clam juice and white wine. Strain the pasta and add to the sauce with a little pasta water, tossing the pan so it’s coated. Squeeze lemon over the pasta, add chopped parsley and check the seasoning.
- Just before you serve, toss the pasta with a good amount of olive oil, around 3
tablespoons should do it.
- Pick up the pasta with pasta tongs and twirl around a little in each bowl first before pouring over the clams and the sauce.