'Little Eyes' clam spaghetti sauce
'Spaghetti alle vongole' or clam spaghetti
I saw on a cooking channel a lady cooking in a large skillet: olive oil, anchovies, baby clam and other ingredients which I did not see or hear as my phone rang (wrong number!).
She then added uncooked spaghetti to the skillet and stirred.
She said in Italian that this sauce is called Little Eyes, because of the little circles in the sauce of ingredients looking like tiny different colored eyes.
I would like the recipe.... and I know it uses NO tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Can you help? Thank you!
Response: Hi there Frank and thanks for getting in touch.
You're right about the tomatoes... Italian seafood pasta recipe generally go for oily sauces with garlic rather than tomato sauces (explained a little further on this pasta tips page).
As for the rest... I've spoken with my 'oracle' - Mamma Marisa - and here's what we reckon...
This dish is probably some version of spaghetti alle vongole (in bianco).
Marisa confirms that spaghetti can be sometimes cooked right there in the pan, although she's never tried this approach herself. What she thinks is that you would need enough clam juice and oil in there to provide enough liquid for the cooking is all.
In addition, the sauce should include, of course, garlic and parsley (the anchovies are generally used to give a stronger taste to the sauce, since the canned clams have quite a weak taste).
The bad news is that we don't have a clam spaghetti recipe on this site yet (it is, of course and like many more, 'on the list'!).
Here are some external recipes you might take a look at:
This VideoJug video recipe
Jamie Oliver's Venetian version
Or this wonderful Spaghetti Vongole Recipe Collection from the UK's Guardian newspaper.
I do hope that helps Frank. Please do let us know how you get on and which recipe you try/love by simply adding another comment below :-)
Update: I recently added this recipe for spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with cockles). As I mention on that page, you can simply replace the cockles with small clams to whip up a more convenient American version. It's a wonderful dish - a real Italian seafood staple. Enjoy!
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