Spaghetti with Clams



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Place the clams in a bowl and add salted water to cover. Let stand for 10 minutes or up to 1 hour to allow the clams to expel any sand and grit contained in the shells. Lift the clams out of the water, leaving the sand in the bowl, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Combine the oil and garlic in a saucepan over low heat and cook to warm the garlic and infuse the oil. Do not allow the garlic to take on color. After 1-2 minutes, add the red chile pepper flakes.

Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving about 2 cups of the pasta cooking water.

Add the clams, wine, and pinch of salt to the pan with the garlic. Cover the pan and cook, shaking gently every now and then, just until the clams open, 1-2 minutes. Remove the clams to a bowl and set aside.

Add the spaghetti to the saucepan, adding a little of the pasta cooking water to emulsify. Continue cooking until the spaghetti is tender but al dente, about 3 more minutes. Stir in the parsley and add the clams back to the pan to rewarm in the sauce. (The pasta should not be soupy but some emulsified sauce will pool on the plate.) Taste and adjust the seasonings.


Spaghetti with Clams Recipe | Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spaghetti with clams is a typical dish of the Neapolitan tradition that has now become a symbol of Italian cuisine in the world!

A great classic, easy and fast-to-make, made with spaghetti, clams, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Like any traditional recipe, there are many versions: with vegetables such as zucchini, with tomatoes for a tasty red variant, or flavored with bottarga.

Now we’ll show you the authentic clam sauce recipe of the Neapolitan tradition: spaghetti with clams, the classic white version.

In Italy we usually use Veraci clams (similar to cherrystones clams), big and thick or Lupini clams (similar to littlenecks clams): smaller, cheaper but very tasty. Both are typical of the Adriatic Sea.

You need only a few ingredients, fresh and of excellent quality, to make perfect appetizing spaghetti with clams Italian-style and, most important, you have to follow few rules of execution:

  • Choose fresh clams (and for fresh we intend alive!)
  • Clean the clams from the sand, leaving them to soak in cold salted water for at least 2 hours.
  • Drain pasta al dente and finish cooking the spaghetti in the clam sauce.

Follow all the secrets below, step by step and you will bring to the table, in less than 30 minutes, creamy and tasty spaghetti with clams!

If you like fish dishes, you cannot fail to try the amazing Fish Lasagna recipe or the Paccheri with creamy Pumpkin sauce and Clams!


Katie Lee Biegel's Spaghetti With Clams Is a Simple Dish to Make for Pasta Night

The toasted garlic breadcrumb topping is a game changer.

Welcome to The Pioneer Woman Cookbook Club! This month, we're featuring Katie Lee Biegel, chef, Food Network star, and cookbook author of It's Not Complicated: Simple Recipes for Every Day. Read on to find out about food traditions Katie hopes to share with her daughter, her favorite pantry items, and learn how to make her easy Spaghetti with Clams recipe.

Simple recipes are not only delicious, but they can also be the most memorable.

Katie Lee Biegel's latest cookbook, It&rsquos Not Complicated, is filled with no-fuss dishes like Turkey Meatloaf, Lemon Pasta, and Caramelized Onion Burgers that could all easily become new family staples.

For Katie, simple dishes are the best ones. When recalling the inspiration for her book, she mentions a scene in Nancy Meyers&rsquos It&rsquos Complicated&mdashthe film that also inspired the title&mdashwhere Alec Baldwin&rsquos character earnestly proclaims over breakfast that "Mommy is the best cook&mdashin the world."

&ldquoMy hope is that these recipes become the ones you make over and over again for your family. Just those comfortable recipes that when your kids are older, they&rsquoll say Mommy, you&rsquore the best cook,&rdquo she explains.

As a new mom to baby Iris, the Food Network star is conscious of the way memories in the kitchen can stick with us as we grow older. She recalls making biscuits with her grandma, something that she can&rsquot wait to do with Iris one day. She also points to the cookbook's Spaghetti with Zucchini that she and her husband Ryan had at their wedding. It&rsquos become a summertime tradition, hoping that it'll become a favorite of Iris&rsquos too.

&ldquoAnd of course, there are desserts like Whoopie Pies and Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies I think she&rsquoll be having when she comes home from school,&rdquo she says, both recipes which you'll find in the book too.

Familiar, easy meals carried Katie through both her pregnancy and the pandemic as The Kitchen star gravitated toward grilled cheese sandwiches, making them the way her grandpa used to with mayonnaise. Pantry recipes also became an easy go-to&mdashher Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pasta became such a popular dish that she made sure to squeeze it into the book.

&ldquoI've learned to always keep around ingredients that you can add to change up the flavors. Red curry paste, capers, lemons&mdashthings that you can just grab and add a lot of flavor to a dish,&rdquo she says.

Even her Spaghetti with Clams can be transformed into a simple pantry dish by swapping fresh clams for canned clams, she points out. While Katie normally makes this dish using littleneck clams caught right from the water behind their house in the Hamptons, the West Virginia native knows that fresh shellfish isn&rsquot always accessible, depending on where you live.

&ldquoClams were certainly something I never ate. As a kid, my grandpa would buy canned oysters and would bread and fry them and that was a real treat,&rdquo she says. &ldquoWhen I first moved here, I felt like I didn&rsquot know a lot about seafood, so I got a job in a fish market that was just opening up. That&rsquos how I learned about seafood and how to cook it&mdashjust from experimenting.&rdquo

Regardless of how you plan on making it, this Spaghetti with Clams is bound to become a family favorite. It&rsquos the perfect summer pasta recipe or easy weeknight dinner!


Recipe Summary

  • 1 (8 ounce) package linguine pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup minced sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (10 ounce) can baby clams, drained with juices reserved (such as Bumble Bee®)
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce (such as Classico®)
  • 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste (Optional)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste (Optional)

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the linguine, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still slightly firm, about 11 minutes. Drain well.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until it begins to brown slightly. Stir in the onion cook and stir until the onion becomes lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the reserved clam juice and wine. Simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Stir in the Alfredo sauce and clams cook and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Serve the clam sauce over the linguine, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.


Recipe Summary

  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 pound uncooked spaghetti
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 48 littleneck clams (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 ½ cups chopped seeded peeled tomato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup extravirgin olive oil
  • Flat-leaf parsley sprigs

Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large stockpot. Stir in pasta partially cover, and return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 6 minutes or until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, tossing well keep warm.

While pasta cooks, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add clams cover and cook 6 minutes or until shells open. Remove clams from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving 2 cups of cooking liquid in pan. Add tomato and garlic reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in fresh parsley and oil cook 15 seconds. Serve tomato mixture and clams over spaghetti. Garnish with parsley sprigs.


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti (see Tip)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (10 ounce) can whole clams
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add clams and their juice, wine, lemon zest and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 6 to 8 minutes.

Stir in butter and salt. Add the hot pasta and toss to coat. Add arugula and toss until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Serve with Parmesan, if desired.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 ½ pounds clams in shells
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth or one 14.5-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup dry white wine or reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups hot cooked multigrain spaghetti (about 10 ounces dried spaghetti)
  • Fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Scrub clams under cold running water. To soak clams, in an 8-quart Dutch oven combine 4 quarts cold water and 1/3 cup salt add clams. Soak for 15 minutes drain and rinse. Discard water. Repeat soaking, draining, and rinsing twice.

In a very large skillet cook shallots in hot oil over medium heat about 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add broth, wine, lemon juice, and crushed red pepper. Bring to boiling. Add clams reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until clams are opened. Discard any unopened clams.

Toss together clams and spaghetti. Top with parsley. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 48 littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ pound uncooked spaghetti

Combine tomatoes and 1 tablespoon olive oil, tossing to coat. Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, on a jelly-roll pan. Thinly slice 1 garlic clove sprinkle over tomatoes. Bake tomato mixture at 300° for 1 1/2 hours or until tomatoes are slightly shriveled. Set aside.

Mince remaining 2 garlic cloves. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add minced garlic and red pepper to skillet cook 2 minutes or until garlic and pepper sizzle. Increase heat to medium-high stir in wine. Add clams cover and cook 7 minutes or until clams open. Using tongs, remove clams from skillet reserve liquid. Discard any unopened shells. Strain liquid through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into a bowl discard solids. Wipe skillet clean return liquid to skillet. Add tomatoes, parsley, basil, and salt bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reserve 24 clams in shells. Remove remaining clams from shells add all clams to skillet.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Combine pasta and clam mixture. Serve immediately.


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I really enjoyed making this dish. I added extra parsley and unsalted butter at the end when it was time to add the pasta. I also added red chili flakes. Next time I will add more lemon juice. Other than the tweaks, I found this recipe to be easy and delicious.

Great option for a fast meal for guests. Reduced the oil a bit, upped the lemon juice (and parsley, because I had it), and used rotini instead of spaghetti (again, because it was on hand). Added some chili flakes, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Not at all bland. I always like adding Parmesan Reggiano to pasta dishes. The recipe didn't call for it, nor did we have any, and all was well. A happy experience. It probably helped that the clams were swimming in a tank at our local Asian market when I picked them up.

Really boring. In winter months I eat a ton of shellfish, and I like to think I've gotten pretty good with them . The flavours in the sauce were mediocre, and it just never came together. I found it particularly bland - even with red pepper flakes added. I kind of feel like I have to apologize to my littleneck friends for doing them a disservice. I'm sorry my locally-grown organically-harvested Ocean-Wise(tm) Sawmill Bay Manilla mollusk pals. You were just too good for this. Just too good. I will avenge your misuse in my next steamer pot!

a very simple good recipe, after many trials i found using half the lemon portion. less olive oil but by adding some (unsalted) butter and a seeded red chilli makes a surprising difference. enjoy

As far as I'm concerned, you can cut up an entire bulb of garlic for this recipe. To cut calories, just use 1/4 c of olive oil. It does the job cooking the garlic. I used 2# of scallops instead of 3# of clams. Add 1 tsp of salt plus fresh ground pepper and red pepper flakes. I doubled the lemon juice AND put in the zested peel. Go to this recipe when you have just bought a bunch of Italian parsley and don't want it to go bad in the fridge. After adding the wine and lemon juice, simmer for about three minutes more: don't overcook the scallops.

Have made many times. I always double the lemon juice. Often substitute shrimp or shrimp an scallops (total weight 1.5 - 2 lbs)

EASY AND FABULOUS! USED COCKLES BECAUSE MY FISH MONGER SAID THEY WOULD BE SWEETER AND A DELICATE ANGEL HAIR PASTA., AND ADDED RED PEPPER FLAKES FOR A BIT OF KICK, GREAT!

This is a lovely pasta for lovers of clams and lemon. Make it--you'll like it!

This was great-simple to make, light and good for summer. Comparable to spaghetti alle vongole in restaurants.

I have made this many, many times and it is always fabulous. We eat at many of the "best" restaurants in New York City, and my husband swears that none of them a better linguine with clams than this.

I have made this dish twice and I will definitely make it again! It is so easy, but so delicious! I followed the recipe as described, but added a little grated lemon peel together with the lemon juice. It adds a fresh flavour without the sourness.

This was the 1st time I had Italian parsley. If I had known what it tasted like in advance I would have substituted it for another herb. Thankfully the parsley taste wasn't as strong as dill, otherwise I would have had to throw it all away. Dill makes me gag. Parsley has a smiliar HERBY flavor to it that I dislike. Otherwise dish is OK. Just OK. Definately light (in a refreshing way). I would only make this dish one more time, with an italian blend seasoning mix, to see if tasted better.

This is easy, fresh and delicious- I'm making it again tonight. I have to dbl the recipe because everyone comes back for more. When you've been cooking meat every night for dinner and want a change and don't want fish- this is it. Very refreshing.

This has become the dish of the week at my home. My 8 year old son loves it as well as all the grown ups in the house. It's quick and delicious.

I have made this recipe again and again since it appeared in the magazine years ago. It's easy to make as is or is fun to add other ingredients. It works well as an appetizer w/o the pasta. I've mixed mussels and clams, and have added pieces of fresh goat cheese and basil chiffonade to the broth instead of the parsley. I've also added chopped fresh tomato and crushed red pepper flakes. It has been terrific each time. Soak up the broth with a rustic loaf of Italian bread.

Easy to make. The Italian Parsley is a must. I added one chopped Roma Tomato for color, and I may try some Capers. This Recipe could certainly substitute scallops or other favorite seafoods.

This recipe was so delicious and easy! I added crushed red pepper with the garlic to spice it up a bit. It's my new favorite.

This is fabulous, and because there are so few ingredients, it's easy. I've made it several times, and even my kids love it.

It's light and lemmony. Drained water from 2 cans of babby clams in lieu of unavailable fresh, and added red pepper flakes to taste and lots of grated parm. I know it's a hit when someone else puts up whats left before I can get to it.

This was my first attempt at a recipe with fresh clams. The pasta was fabulous. I made it exactly as the recipe specified, and both my boyfriend and I loved it. Would definitely make it again.

Please give this a try. it's too easy and too good! This is a great recipe and VERY simple. Just make sure you don't overcook the clams or the spaghetti (it must be al dente) and that's it. It's pretty foolproof in my opinion and very impressive. Yum.

I would definitely make this recipe again! I made the recipe just the way it was printed. Make sure that you use fresh lemon juice and the Italian parsley, there are not a lot of ingredients so use the best! The flavors were perfect even though you use 8 cloves of garlic, it is not too strong!

this one of those easy one bowl-one pot wonders. dinners's cleaned up before you sit down. we served it loaves of crusty bread and skipped the pasta, much more fun. Easy and one pot cleANUP. CAN GET ANY LUCKIER.

first time I made it I followed the recipe, and I thought is was really greasy. 1/2c of oil is way too much. 2nd time I used about 1T of oil and I liked it a lot better, I still think it needs a little more zing. maybe some crushed red pepper next time?


Spaghetti alle Vongole Recipe

In this classic iconic Neopolitan dish, briny clams, white wine, garlic, and peperoncino create a light yet intensely flavorful spaghetti sauce.

Use the freshest clams you can find and a high-quality dry pasta to make your spaghetti alle vongole. Then pair with a glass of Italian white wine!

Spaghetti alle Vongole (Spaghetti with Clams)

Recipe courtesy of Eataly

2 pounds littleneck clams (may substitute manila clams or cockles)
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon fresh oregano
½ teaspoon peperoncino
¼ cup white wine
8 ounces dried spaghetti
¼ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, washed and chopped
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the clams in a bowl of cold water to soak, and set them aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it is shimmering. Add the garlic and oregano to the pan and cook until the garlic is golden and fragrant about 3 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for 30 more seconds. Add the white wine to the pan, and bring the sauce to a boil.

Meanwhile, carefully remove the clams from the bowl, and discard the water. Transfer the clams to the sauté pan. Cover the pan, and steam the clams until they open, for about 6-10 minutes, depending on their size. Remove the clams to a serving bowl as they open, and discard any that don’t open after 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and season it with salt until it is as salty as the sea. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water, and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes.

When the spaghetti is al dente, transfer directly to the pan with the clam sauce, stirring to coat. Add a ladleful of pasta cooking water to the pan, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. Return the clams to the pan with the pasta to warm them through and sprinkle the pasta with the chopped parsley. Toss gently to incorporate all ingredients, and serve your spaghetti alle vongole immediately while its hot.