Pasta con vongole e asparagi

Chef Angelo Preziosi shares his recipe for pasta with clams and asparagus.

Although spaghetti alle vongole is a classic pasta dish, this recipe adds a springtime touch of asparagus which is in season in Rome right now. It is best served with a large glass of white wine.

1kg clams (vongole veraci)

1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed, chopped into rounds

350g pasta (spaghetti or tonnarelli)

1 glass of white wine

1 small red chili

2 cloves of garlic peeled

1 bunch of fresh parsley

Extra virgin olive oil

To begin, soak the clams in salted water for at least 1 hour which will remove any excess sand.

Boil a large pan of water for the pasta.

In an small pan fry the asparagus in a little olive oil for about 8-10 minutes until just soft. Turn off the heat.

In a separate, larger frying pan heat a good drizzle of olive oil and gently fry the two whole cloves of garlic and the chilli to infuse the oil. Once the garlic is soft, add the drained clams and then cover with a lid or a piece of aluminium foil and cook for about 3 minutes.

Uncover the pan and add a glass of white wine, cover again and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the clams have opened. Turn off the heat. If there are any unopened clams remove them from the pan now. Remove the garlic and chilli.

Pour the liquid from the pan into a separate bowl, if there are any traces of sand pass it through a fine sieve.

Add the asparagus and a little cooking liquid to the pan with the clams. Meanwhile cook the pasta for a couple of minutes less that the advised cooking time, drain and add to the pan.

Turn on the heat and finish cooking the pasta along with the clams and asparagus, gradually adding the remainder of the liquid until the pasta is al dente

Serve sprinkled with some chopped fresh parsley.

Chef Angelo