Drink + Dine

All in the Family: Chef Diego Di Lao’s Father’s Day Recipe Straight From Sicily

June 14, 2014
Written by: Yasha Wallin

Growing up, every time chef Diego Di Lao’s dad came home to Sicily after traveling around the world, it felt like Father’s Day. To honor that special bond, just in time for this Father’s Day, Katsuya’s chef Di Lao reminisces about cooking with dad and shares their special family recipe.

When you come from a place like Sicily, food is everything. It’s all about family, fun, and living life to the fullest. Growing up, we shared a small villa with my grandmother and great uncle, both of whom taught me most everything I know. We worked and played often in our backyard garden that overflowed with all the herbs and vegetables you’d ever need for a fine Italian pasta. My father often traveled the world for work. When he was home, cooking our favorite recipe, Spaghetti alle Vongole ‘Spaghetti with Clams’ was our special time together. I remember making this recipe almost every night he was in town. Despite how tired we both were, we looked forward to spending this brief time together, enjoying what we love most: a delicious, homemade bowl of Spaghetti alle Vongole. – Chef Diego Di Lao

Di Lao

1 lb Spaghetti Barilla
2 lb of Vongole Verace
1 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 cup of white wine
1 bunch of parsley
1 tbsp black pepper
Red pepper flakes to taste

Soak the clam in cold water with salt for quite some time. This process will allow the clams to release the “sand.” I usually use two different pots for this recipe. In a sauce pot I add clams, ½ of the chopped parsley and black and red pepper flakes. Cover with a lid and cooked on a slow flame until the clams are fully open and have released their natural juice. In a sauté pan add olive oil and garlic. Once the garlic is translucent I add the white wine. When the sauce has reduced a little, add the Vongole to the white wine sauce and combine together. Once the pasta is cooked al dente add it to the sauté pan and toss it. Place in a bowl and add the rest of the chopped parsley. Enjoy.