With my new 3-day weekends I have found again the energy to cook at home. Believe me, standing 12 hours per day during 5 days in a professional kitchen leaves no desire to even look into your own kitchen. The "crisis" helps as well to make me think twice before going out and pay unreasonable Parisian prices for food that I can cook now on my own. If everybody thinks like me though the restaurant business will not prosper...
Today I had a craving for pasta alle vongole and instead of spending half a day's cook's salary in one of St. Germain's Italian restaurants, I decided to cook it for myself. I was excited about the result, and the fact that it tasted better than in any Italian restaurant that I have ever eaten this dish confirms to me that I am probably not totally without talent in my new profession, and there is a chance that I will have customers that might like what I do.
While it is simple and fast to make, I believe the secret to make it outstanding lies in the cooking time of the pasta, in balanced seasoning (don't be scared to use a little chili) and very good olive oil.
Cook either bucatini or linguini or spaghetti 3 minutes less than the recommended cooking time. Heat chopped garlic and some chili flakes and ground pepper in olive oil, add the well washed and rinced clams and/or cockles (I bought palourdes and coques at the market), then white wine and a little butter. Cover the pan for a couple of minutes, until all clams are open. Keep the clams aside and reduce the cooking liquid. Add the pasta and the clams again until the pasta are al dente. At the end just add the chopped parsley. Too easy, isn't it ?