Maxye’s Spaghetti alle Vongole
My favorite blind date dish
Marie is one of the first people I met when I moved to Berlin in January 2013. My best friend Helene, who had just spent an Erasmus year in the city, put us in touch. We decided to meet at Transit, a Thai tapas restaurant. These types of blind dates can be very awkward; it wasn’t in this case. Within the first few seconds of our encounter I knew I already liked her. When she suggested we get another bottle of wine, I knew we would be friends. When we left and someone threw a bottle of beer at our feet, and a piece of glass went straight through her boot, her socks and finally through part of her big toe, and she wrapped her bleeding foot in a Kleenex and still went dancing with me all night in Berghain, I knew she would become one of my best friends. Since our golden Berlin days she moved back to her native Paris where she took on the name Maxye and has become an amazingly talented DJ. The first time she invited me to her new Paris apartment she cooked this dish.
"Within the first few seconds of our encounter I knew I already liked her. When she suggested we get another bottle of wine, I knew we would be friends."
Thank you for your special vongole playlist, Maxye!
For 4 hungry people:
- 500g of linguine pasta
- 1kg of clams or cockles
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves cut in thin layers
- A glass (250 ml) of a dry white wine
- 1 pili pili pepper
- A handful of parsley
- Half a can of chopped tomatoes
- A big handful of cherry tomatoes
- A drizzle of olive oil
- Let the clams bathe in a big bath of salted water for at least an hour. Change the water every half an hour.
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot for the pasta.
- Put a bit of olive oil in a cooking pot. Fry the garlic and pili pili until the garlic is golden. Add the clams, white wine and parsley (keep some for presentation).
- Cover for 5 minutes, stir from time to time and let the clams open up.
- Once the majority are opened, take off the fire and filter the juice.
- Thicken the juice with the chopped tomatoes to create a sauce. At the same time de-shell half of the clams.
- Cook the linguine a bit before it becomes al dente. At the same time grill the tomatoes on a frying pan or a grill until the skin darkens.
- At the last moment, add to the sauce all the clams (shelled and de-shelled), the slightly toasted or grilled tomatoes and the linguine. Add some salt and pepper and gently toss until the pasta is perfectly al dente.
- Sprinkle the remaining parsley and serve immediately.