LOCATION AND CLIMATE

 

As you might expect, olives grown in cooler areas where there is more moisture (rainfall and dew) exhibit leaner, more restrained characteristics.  This doesn’t however mean that great oil can now be made in Iceland – you need a minimum amount of sunshine to make your Extra Virgin Olive Oil taste remarkable, similarly to tomatoes or stone fruit.

Olive trees are sensitive to winter freeze (the Casaliva cultivar is more resistant to cold, hence being grown in the Garda region).  It is also easier to farm organically where the climate is more stable and less chemical sprays are required to keep the trees healthy.

OLIVE MATURITY

 

Here’s the thing – all olives are green.  When they become fully mature, they turn black.
Olive maturity at the time of harvest is a major factor in flavour and quality: olives harvested earlier (green olives) feature more bitter, grassy characteristics, with lower yields and with the highest anti-oxidant content.  The oil is a much more intense green colour and has a longer shelf-life.  In terms of production, milling can take longer with green olives (a longer malaxation - the action of slowly churning milled olives to release droplets of oil - is needed and can be more complicated) but the results are far superior!  Don’t choose olive oil from over mature fruit: it lacks all the potential goodness and flavour.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL IN GROVE AND MILL

 

People who care passionately about what they make and follow it personally every day have the capacity to create products with far higher quality, with integrity, and that taste of where they come from.  They are also able to do this by caring for the environment they inhabit.

FRANTOIO DI RIVA BOX

This box contains 6 bottles of extra virgin olive oil made exclusively by Frantoio di Riva from groves on the banks of lake Garda.

Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO green label x 3 bottles (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO organic white label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO blue label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, ULIVA Garda Trentino DOP x 1 bottle (50cl)

Spaghetti alle Vongole | Frantoi
This is maybe one of the easiest and most impressive plates of pasta you can make. As always you need the best ingredients for a true flavour – fresh clams from your fishmonger, one of our maritime olive oils, from Puglia, Sicily or Liguria.
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Frantoi - Pasta alle Vongole

Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spring Recipes

This is maybe one of the easiest and most impressive plates of pasta you can make. As always you need the best ingredients for a true flavour – fresh clams from your fishmonger, one of our maritime olive oils, from Puglia, Sicily or Liguria. As a guideline, you should get about 250g of clams per person. And between 100 and 200g of spaghetti per person (depending how hungry your crowd is or if you have more than one course). More pasta means you need more of the other ingredients (garlic, chilli, olive oil, parsley, and if you want, tomatoes).

Ingredients

For 4 hungry people:

500 gr Spaghetti

1 Kg fresh clams

One large clove of garlic, pealed

100 gr cherry tomatoes, chopped.

1 peperoncino (dried chilli) or a teaspoon of flaked chillies

Half a glass of dry white wine

2 tablespoons chopped parsley.

Which EVOO to use?

Paolo Cassini Extremum, because this amazing 100% Taggiasca EVOO is saline and lightly spicy with uplifting pine nut and almond aromas which work particularly well with vongole.

De Carlo Felice Garibaldi, this beautifully herbaceous Ogliarola Barese olive oil has a very fine tomato leaf and radicchio character with a lovely touch of spice that lifts spaghetti alle vongole to new heights.

Cutrera Gran Cru Nocellara Etnea, this monocultivar grown at high altitude on the slopes of Mt. Etna is packed full of fresh mediterranean herbs with a bright, slightly bitter finish – it works particularly well with seafood or raw fish.

Method

Prepping:

Wash your clams in a colander and leave them for a couple of hours in cold very salty water.

Change the briny water once or twice before cooking.

 

1. As soon as you have put the spaghetti in the salty boiling water, turn on a large heavy based sauté or frying pan (you’ll need a lid for it) and pour a very generous amount of oil and one pealed clove of garlic (or two If you like it to be pungent), and a tea spoon of chilli flakes (or crumble a pepperoncino, but wash your hands!). Brown the garlic slowly, making sure not to burn the oil.

 

2. Once the garlic is coloured through, spoon out, turn the heat on max, give it a second to get the oil hot and put your drained clams in the pan, and cover and hear the clams pop and crackle. After a minute or so turn the heat down. After another minute or so check the clams should be mostly open, so you can spoon them out into a large bowl (if one or two are still closed leave them in the pan just that little longer so you don’t feel cheated. But if they don’t open take them out and discard – never ever try to open and eat a clam that doesn’t open with heat).

 

3. Turn your heat back up, put your tomatoes on, squash slightly with a wooden spoon and as soon as they start relaxing pour the wine in. Scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure all goodness is bubbling, and reduce the liquid until your pasta is almost ready (about 30 seconds to a minute before the pack says it’s ready).

 

4. Drain the spaghetti and put in the pan, mixing furiously and ensuring all pasta is well coated, for the time left (about 30 seconds).

 

5. Mix into a bowl with the clams, throw the parsley on top, mix well again with a large dash of olive oil.

 

6. Serve immediately and devour.

 

If you want it to be more garlicky, chop the garlic and keep it in the pan, rather than infusing the oil, but be careful not to burn it. The tomatoes are entirely optional and the use or not in a spaghetti alle vongole can be debated for hours. I think quality is the decider: if the cherry tomatoes are really good use them, if they are cold and hard play marbles with them.