Spaghetti alle vongole

Our classic spaghetti alle vongole recipe is the perfect dinner for a warm summer evening. This simple dish of spaghetti and clams is flavoured with garlic, chilli, white wine and parsley, and can be whipped up in under thirty minutes.

First published in 2019
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Spaghetti alle vongole

  • 1kg clams
  • 350g of spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
  • 80ml of white wine
  • 1 handful of parsley, chopped
  • salt


Clean the clams by leaving to soak in heavily salted water (it should be salty enough to taste like sea water) for 20 minutes. The clams will naturally filter out any grit and sand. If they are particularly sandy, repeat the process with a fresh batch of salted water. After this process, leave to soak in unsalted cold water for 10 minutes to rinse off any excess salt they have absorbed
Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water until very al dente – about 2 minutes under the recommended cooking instructions
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan with a lid. Gently sauté the garlic slices and fresh chilli until soft but not coloured
Add the clams to the pan followed by the white wine. Turn up the heat and cover with a lid
Give the pan a shake every 20 seconds, the clams should be cooked after 2 minutes or so. Take the pan off the heat and discard any clams which haven’t opened, and any empty shells
When ready, drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Toss the spaghetti through the white wine and clam sauce until well-coated, adding some of the reserved cooking water if needed
Stir through the fresh parsley and leave for a minute or two for the pasta to absorb the flavours. Serve with a crisp glass of white wine

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