Spaghetti alle Vongole Recipe
Spaghetti with Clams: A Delicious Italian Seafood Recipe
While the temperatures may be getting cooler and the days getting shorter, there is nothing better than a big bowl of spaghetti with clams to transport you back to the Italian summer. With the salty taste of the sea from the fresh clams, a spicy tingle of chili, and a silky, garlicky white wine sauce just begging to be mopped up with bread, this classic seafood dish is a quick and easy way to bring the flavors of Italy’s seaside to your home.
Buy your clams as fresh as possible, rinse them under cold water and take a little time to check and throw away any that are broken or already open. A good way to ensure that there is no sand in your finished dish (don’t ruin all your efforts with a gritty sauce) is to throw each one into the sink or a basin, if it opens it means that there is sand inside and should be discarded.
There are versions of this dish which add a few cherry tomatoes to the sauce, but to really celebrate the beautiful flavor of the fresh clams keep it simple and just use fresh parsley for a touch of freshness.
Spaghetti alle Vongole – Spaghetti with Clams
500 g fresh clams
220 g spaghetti
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Half a glass of white wine
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 red chili, finely chopped
A handful of chopped parsley
Wash the clams under cold running water and get rid of any that are open or broken. Throw each one in the sink and discard if it opens (this means that there is sand inside).
Boil a large pan of salted water for the pasta, cook for the time indicated on the packet.
While the pasta is cooking, warm the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and chili. Cook for a couple of minutes on a gentle heat to infuse the oil. Add the clams and cover the pan with a lid or some aluminum foil. After 2 minutes add the wine then cover again and cook until they are all open (about 3-4 minutes).
Remove and discard the shells from about half of the clams (this makes it easier to eat!).
When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the pan with the clams. Sprinkle in most of the fresh parsley, stir everything together well and serve with a little extra parsley on top and plenty of good bread to soak up the juices.
Enjoy with a crisp, cold glass of white wine and dream of Italian summer!
Try more of our authentic Italian family recipes for a real taste of Italy in your own home. Take a look at the recipe collection on the Local Aromas foodie blog and, if you are in Rome, come and cook with us at our rooftop cooking classes.