Wine Wednesday: Welcoming Melissa Gorga from RHONJ and Voli Vodka

Ok, I’ll admit it, The Real Housewives…no matter how crazy they are, is truly my only ‘guilty pleasure’.  It makes me laugh when I see what they consider a problem (which $700+ shoe or $1500 dress to wear – around the house; what $2500 bottle of wine or champagne to open with the pizza; or who is using whose hairstylist) and very grateful that my group of girls are a bit more sane.  However, with that said, I’ve been lucky to meet a few of the Atlanta, New York and New Jersey Girls during fashion week.  Pretty fun and yes normal ladies.

So as we begin the year, here’s a recipe from Melissa Gorga from RHONJ. She is the new ambassador for Voli Vodka and she’s sharing a “traditional family recipe” best sipped with a pomegranate Voli martini, which she calls “light, refreshing, sweet and sour.”

So make the pasta, get your martini properly chilled and be sure to watch them on your local channel. Gotta love those Jersey Girls.

Voli Pom Martini

1½ oz. Voli Lyte (works with Voli lemon, too)
2 oz. pomegranate juice
¼ oz. lemon juice

In a mixting tin, add ice, Voli Lyte, pomegranate juice, lemon juice and shake.

Strain into martini glass, and add an orange twist for garnish.

Linguine ala Vongole

1 lb. linguine
¼ cup water
6 garlic cloves, crushed
6 red dried chili peppers, less or more according to how spicy you like it
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup white wine
2 tbsp. chopped, fresh leaf parsley
3 lbs. little neck hard shell clams
pinch of salt

Clean the clams well and place them in a large pot, covering them with water and placing the lid on pot while heating at medium high until clams burst open.

Remove the clams as they open and pit them into a separate bowl. Clams that don’t open should be trashed.

Scrape the clams and the juices from the shells and put them in a separate bowl.

Rinse the clams again to avoid their being sandy. Pour all of the liquid from the pot into the bowl with the juices and pass all the remaining liquids through a strainer.

To Serve

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the garlic until it is golden brown.

Then add the parsley, chili peppers, a pinch of salt and white wine, letting them all cook together for about three minutes. Add in a little more than half of the clam juices. The liquid should reduce by ½, then stir in the remaining juices and clams and let them cook for another two minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to boil with a pinch of salt. Keeping the pasta a little firm, drain it and return it back into the pot.

Add the clam sauce and stir very gently. Top it off with a little parsley, and voila! (Serves 6)

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