Spaghetti alle vongole is a traditional Italian dish of spaghetti with clams that is very popular throughout Italy, especially in Campania where it is part of traditional Neapolitan cuisine.
This simple version of an Italian classic combines spaghetti or linguine with clams for an elegant seafood pasta dish that’s sure to impress.
Italians prepare this dish two ways: in bianco, i.e., with oil, garlic, parsley, and sometimes a splash of white wine; and in rosso, like the former but with tomatoes and fresh basil, the addition of tomatoes being more frequent in the south. We like the bianco version.
500g fresh clams in shells
2 garlic cloves
1 pinch of dried red chilli flakes
125ml dry white wine
bunch of parsley
Rinse the clams in several changes of cold water. Discard any that are open or damaged.
Cook spaghetti according to pack instructions.
Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the garlic, then pick and finely chop the parsley.
When the pasta has 5 minutes to go, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat, add the garlic and chilli flakes, and fry for 1 minute, or until lightly golden.
Now add the clams, give the pan a good a shake, then after 30 seconds add the wine and pop the lid on. After 3 or 4 minutes, the clams will start to open – keep shaking the pan until they’ve all opened, then remove from the heat, and discard any clams that remain closed.
Put the pasta straight into the pan with clams, then simmer for a minute or two.
Taste and season, then add the parsley and good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and toss together. Delicious served with a glass of chilled white wine and a side serving of bread for mopping up the juices.