Theo Randall discovered this pasta dish in a lovely restaurant in Rome called Osteria di Romana. If you can’t get elbow macaroni (also known as chifferi), any macaroni or other small pasta such as farfalle is fine.
- 2 Roman artichokes
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
- 500g clams
- 50ml white wine
- 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 400g elbow macaroni
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1. Prepare the artichokes by slicing them into eighths after soaking them in water acidulated with lemon juice (see tip for full explanation).
- 2. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the garlic and cook gently for 1 minute. Add the artichokes and half a glass of water, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, until the artichokes are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
- 3. Wash the clams thoroughly in cold water, discarding any with cracked or open shells, then set aside.
- 4. Place a large pan over a high heat, add the clams, white wine and parsley, then cover and cook for 3–4 minutes, until all the clams have opened.
- 5. Leave to cool, then strain through a fine sieve, reserving the cooking juices. Remove the clams from their shells, leaving a few in their shells to look pretty. Add all the clams to the artichokes with their cooking juices.
- 6. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the artichokes, together with a spoonful or two of the pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary. Toss together and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and serve.
Using a small, sharp knife, trim off the tough outer leaves of the artichokes, exposing the tender,yellowy leaves underneath. Slice off the top 2cm of each artichoke. Peel the stalk with a potato peeler, removing all the green, bitter parts.Take a teaspoon or soup spoon, depending on size, and scoop out the choke. If the artichokes are young, the chokes will be very small; if old, they will be large and quite furry. Place the artichokes in a bowl of water acidulated with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Leave for a few minutes, then cut each artichoke lengthwise in half and each half lengthwise into eighths. Always buy clams with tightly closed shells – this is a sign that they are alive. This recipe is taken from Pasta by Theo Randall (Ebury Press).