Spaghetti alle Vongole


  • 4 pounds littleneck, mahogany or Manila in their shells, soaked and well scrubbed

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 hot red pepper crushed
  • 3 cups San Marzano DOP tomatoes (La Valle or Mutti brand)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti


  1. Pour 1/4 cup of the olive oil into a large saute’ pan. Heat the oil over medium heat, then add the clams. Cover the pan, shake it a couple of times and cooking the clams until they open.
  2. Remove them from their shells but keep about 6 whole in the shell for garnish. Reserve the liquid from the pan, straining it if necessary to remove any sediment. Set the liquid aside.
  3. In the same pan heat the remaining oil and add the garlic and hot red pepper and cook until the garlic begins to soften but does not turn color.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook over medium high heat for 3 or 4 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the reserved clam juice.
  5. Cook uncovered until the sauce thickens a bit. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the reserved shucked clams and the parsley. Keep the sauce warm and covered over low heat.
  6. Cook the spaghetti until al dente; drain and add to the sauce in the saucepan. Transfer the mixture to a serving platter and garnish with the whole clams.
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