Courgetti Vongole With Samphire & Fennel
This is a modern take on the classic spaghetti alle vongole. I have had this dish in my mind for quite some time and so happy to finally write it down and share. I am very much in NINA Capri mode cooking up lots of extra Italian dishes. The traditional vongole is mostly eaten in Campania and is part of the Neapolitan cuisine. I love using courgetti as a substitute for pasta as it not only makes the dish lighter but it also soaks up all of the wonderful cooking juices in the same way that pasta would. Samphire and fennel also add another special zing to the recipe but be aware that samphire can be salty so careful when adding extra salt. This dish is gluten-free.
3 medium courgettes, spiralized into noodle shapes (finely chop any leftover courgette pieces for frying)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for garnishing
1 banana shallot, diced
1 fennel, top and tailed and then thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, diced
500g fresh clams
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
100ml white wine
4 tbsp newly boiled water
2 pinches of dried oregano
1 spring onion, finely sliced
handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Zest and juice of 3/4 lemon
Sea salt and black pepper
After spiralizing the courgettes lay out some kitchen towel and lay the courgetti on top evenly spread out. Sprinkle over with salt and leave for 5 minutes for the excess water to seep out. Dab away the water with more kitchen towel and leave to one side.
Set a large saucepan with a lid to a medium to high heat and add in the olive oil. Then throw in the diced shallot, leftover courgette pieces, fennel and leave to fry and soften for about 4 minutes. Next, add the diced garlic and stir everything around the pan for a minute before adding in the clams, sliced cherry tomatoes, 4 tablespoons of boiled water, white wine, oregano, spring onion and stir the pan before closing with the lid for 3 minutes. Then add the samphire, courgetti and use tongs to mix everything around the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Taste the sauce to check how salty and add black pepper, salt, zest and lemon juice. Serve hot with a generous sprinkle of parsley and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Que buono!