Closing off the week with a light bright recipe for my version of blushing Pasta Vongole. Originally developed in Naples, pasta vongole celebrates simple flavours and fresh seafood. A bright summery “blush” is added to the dish with the addition of cherry tomatoes and by steaming the clams in Darling Cellars’ Pyjama Bush Rosé.

Made with imported clams (unfortunately we don’t get these little chaps locally), this dish screams summer – ideal for a final al fresco seafood feast before autumn rolls in for good.

I’ll be spending Easter weekend at my mom’s beautiful home in Darling on the West Coast and this recipe is a definite contender for Saturday night dinner. Teeny tiny clams simmered with sautéed shallot, cherry tomatoes, garlic and a healthy splash of Pyjama Bush rosé. The addition that gives this dish its “blushing” moniker, Pyjama Bush is a Sauvignon Blanc/Grenache blend featuring notes of ripe strawberry, red cherries and raspberry. A delightful fruity sapidity makes for the perfect pairing for delicately flavoured seafood – like clams. 

Blushing Pasta Vongole

Prep time: 15 mins /Cook time: 15 mins /Serves 4 

You will need:

  • 500g frozen clams, defrosted and drained
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 25ml olive oil, for frying
  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 250ml Pyjama Bush Rosé
  • 30ml Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Linguine or spaghetti, for 4 people

Place a large lidded casserole dish over medium heat and sauté the chopped onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add the cherry tomatoes and fry until soft and slightly blistered. Increase the heat, add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the wine to deglaze the dish and season to taste. 

Add in the clams, cover the dish with its lid and steam for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until all the clams have opened and their meat is cooked – being sure to discard any that haven’t opened. Stir the chopped parsley through the clams.

Cook the linguine or spaghetti as per the packet instructions. Once al dente, use tongs to transfer the pasta straight out of the water and into the casserole holding the clams. Gently stir the clams through the pasta and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Serve the vongole immediately with lemon wedges to squeeze over the top, a few glasses of chilled Pyjama Bush Rosé and if desired, fresh crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

BLUSHING PASTA VONGOLE

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