Vongole Fujute (run away clams) pays homage to the Neopolitan imagination, taste and humor. The legend dates back to 1947 when stage actor Eduardo De Filippo is said to have returned home after a long day of performing, hungry for a plate of spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams). With no clams, De Filippo creatively prepared the dish as he would normally: sautéeing garlic and crushed red pepper flakes in olive oil, adding small tomatoes, pulling out the pasta when it was cooked al chiodo (a minute sooner than al dente) and allowing it to finish in the saucepan with the other ingredients before tossing in a handful of fresh chopped parsley.
Recipe by Fabrizia Lanza
- 900g or 2lbs vongole veraci (or other small clams) in their shells
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup white wine
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
- 450g or 1lb spaghetti
- Soak the clams overnight in water and salt to clean them.
- Put the clams (still in their shells) in an open sauté pan with a little olive oil and a clove of garlic over low-medium heat. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Stir the clams until they are all open.
- Once all of the clams are open, add 1/2 cup of white wine, the parsley, and a second clove of thinly diced garlic (if desired). Stir and then remove from heat.
- Cook pasta as indicated in salted water.
- Drain the pasta one minute before done and add it to the sauté pan with the clams. Turn the heat on high and let the pasta cook the last minute together with the clams and their shells. Serve (with or without shells).