In the Kitchen With: Valeria Necchio’s Spaghetti with Clams and Agretti – Design*Sponge

Not too long ago, London-based food photographer, Valeria Necchio, shared a quick and easy Venetian recipe with us for Polpette di Baccalà. Cruising through her Instagram feed last week, I saw a picture of her lunch of spaghetti with clams and agretti (Monk’s beard), and asked if she might share the recipe with us. Monk’s beard is the edible leaf of Salsola soda. It is a green succulent plant that grows in warm coastal areas in the spring and early summer. It has a mineral, savory flavor reminiscent of spinach or samphire, but its crisp, crunchy texture really sets it in a league of its own. Venetians used to treasure it for its ability to turn into soda ash when combusted – an essential raw material for the production of precious Murano glass. A very interesting fact for such a delicious vegetable! If you are unable to find it in a market or the grocery, you can try buying seeds (US here, UK here) and planting for next year!  —Kristina

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