Serves 4 people.
5L cold water
30g kosher salt
360g fresh spaghetti
30g garlic, chopped finely by hand
15g jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, sliced thinly
100ml white wine
50g Sea asparagus, roughly chopped
1.5lbs manila clams, smaller size preferred
80g unsalted butter, cubed
30g flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
50g lemon juice, freshly squeezed
30g olive oil
30g extra virgin olive oil, to finish
Place clams in a colander within a deep pot or container, run cold water over them for at least 45 minutes. This encourages them to purge any sand or grit that they hold inside their shells.
Bring cold water and salt to a boil in a deep, heavy bottomed pot.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a wide, heavy bottomed sauté pan until warmed.
Add garlic, jalapeno and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the garlic begins to slightly color – approximately 2-3 minutes.
Add the clams, then immediately add white wine – be careful as there will be some spatter and possibly a small flame from the alcohol burning off of the wine. Immediately put the lid onto the sauté pan, and allow the clams to steam over medium high heat, until just opened. Remove lid, and turn off the heat.
Drop your pasta into the boiling water, it will only take approximately 3-4 minutes in boiling water to achieve a firm textured pasta with a beautiful chew – the pasta should be slightly underdone, as we’re going to finish it by cooking it together with the clams and their juices.
Carefully reserve about 500ml of pasta water with a ladle, then drain pasta thoroughly.
Once pasta is drained, add it to the sauté pan with the clam mixture, then add the butter and sea asparagus. Increase heat to medium-high. Toss or mix the ingredients with tongs to emulsify the butter and the clam juices. Add a little pasta water at a time (you won’t need it all) and continue to stir and toss the spaghetti until it reaches your desired degree of doneness. Turn off the heat, and add lemon, chopped parsley and salt to taste.
Tip spaghetti into a large serving bowl, and garnish with a beautiful extra virgin olive oil.