dish

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FRESH PASTA RANA

Published June 29, 2013 by Tony

Tortellini in New York

A few months ago the Italian Rana family opened a pasta-restaurant in Manhattan by the name of  “LA MIA CASA” (my home).
140 wooden tables, marble shelves, a spectacular ceiling made ​​by hundreds of pots, graters, sieves and ladles of copper.
This eatery opened in Chelsea Market is a mixture of vintage Italian architecture and industrial-urban.
From long the group Rana is a well known brand in Italy for the production of fresh pasta. Here, there is not a supermarket that does not have packs of “tortellini” marked “Rana” in its counter-fridge. Over the years the products produced by the Rana family have diversified, and today we can find different types of “fresh pasta filled”, with mushrooms, spinach, ricotta cheese, artichokes.  In just four years the Italian company has opened 28 restaurants in Italy, 5 in Switzerland, one in Madrid, London and Luxemburg, through a franchising program.
The decision to open a restaurant in the heart of New York has the aim of promoting the fresh pasta to the Americans. And after investing € 2 million and having trained 100 employees, with the raw materials imported directly from Italy, in Manhattan the fresh pasta will be produced on-site, about 250 kilograms per day, to the delight of the Americans.

ITALIAN DISH

Published October 5, 2011 by Tony

SPAGHETTI WITH VONGOLA(s)

spaghetti vongola
How to prepare the original spaghetti with vongolas dish, by a real Neapolitan guy recipe.
Note “vongola” should be singular so, I will use vongola
s as plural.
It’s a great Italian slight meal for any occasion.
Hope you know the Italian kind of pasta called spaghetti and what vongola is. Vongolas are freshwater mussels, just a marine bivalves whose scientific name is Venerupis decussate. We called it ‘Vongola verace’ when picked from sea and not from breeding that, obviously is more delicious. The true spaghetti -vongola are made with no tomato but with olive oil, garlic and parsley only.
As pasta you can use spaghetti,  linguina or vermicelli according to your taste and pasta thickness, where linguina is bigger than spaghetti and with a square cross-section while round for spaghetti and vermicelli.

Ingredients for 4 people:
– 2 Pounds (or more)  of clams; – 350- 400 gr of spaghetti; – ½  cup (150 milliliter roughly ) of white wine; – A sprig of fresh Parsley; – Salt; – Extra virgin olive oil (3,5 oz. roughly)  ; – 1 Garlic clove; – pepper or red chili pepper (optional).

spaghetti
vongolas

 

 

 

 

 

Step 1: Prepare the clams

Pour the vongolas into a large colander and leave under cold running water for roughly for some  minutes to remove any grit from the shells. If you have bought them and have to prepare the dish later, you should keep them in salt water or wrap them in a wet table napkin and keep in the fridge where you can store them for more time even.

Step 3: Heat the water

Place a large pot of salted water on a high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and bring to the boil.

Step 4: Drain the clams

Place a large frying pan on high heat, add olive oil and garlic and stir until lightly browned. Remove the pan from the fire and put the drained vongolas adding some splashes of white (dry) wine (even spumante if you already have an open bottle). Place on high heat and stir from time to time. Vongolas needs few minutes to open and cock, 5 minutes should be sufficient, and a minute before blowing out add the chopped fresh parsley and as optional some paring of red chili pepper.

vongola

Step 5: Cook the spaghetti

Once the water is boiling, uncover and put the spaghetti in. Bring the water back to the boil, whilst stirring and cook for 8-10 minutes. The timing is often written on the packaging of sundry brands and depending on thicknesses.  You should taste the pasta from time to time to check the right cooking point because pasta never should be too soft (softish consistency).  A tip: –  boiled consistency of pasta is called ‘al dente’ (Italian for to the tooth), meaning soft but with texture, sometimes even with bite in the center.

Step 7: Drain the pasta

Put the pasta in the colander, allow it to drain and then transfer it back to the same pan.

spaghetti-vongola

Step 8: Add juice to spaghetti

Using the slotted spoon to prevent any clams from falling, tip some juice from the clams over the spaghetti, and stir. Add vongolas at any portion (dish) and serve still warm. Please, don’t forget to do the “scarpetta” in the end, as Neapolitan call it, it’s to say to clean your plate with a piece of (Italian) bread. Any Italian white wine should be the best drink for this dish, also if I advise a fresh and aromatized Neapolitan wine as “Greco di Tufo” or “Fano”.  
Enjoy and YUMMY!

spaghetti-vongolasGreco di tufo