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Pasta with Red Clam Sauce

Vongole al Pomodoro
On Christmas Eve (la vigilia), it is traditional to serve seven fish courses. Some say the number represents the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, while others claim it is a practice reserved for Advent, the last full week before Christmas Eve. Plenty of these traditional fish dishes were part of my childhood Christmases, including this one of clams and linguine in tomato sauce. Other fish dishes on the Christmas Eve table included salt cod in tomatoes and wine, haddock cooked in olive oil and marinated in lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, and squid, both with spaghetti and broccoli, and stuffed with bread crumbs and stewed.



1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

2 cups fresh minced clams, with their juice

1 1/2 cups Tomato-Basil Sauce or prepared tomato sauce

1/3 cup dry red wine

Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 pound linguine


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it softens but does not color. Add the parsley and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the clams and their juice, cover, and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, wine, and salt and pepper, stir well, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the linguine and cook until al dente. Drain well, and place on a large serving platter.

Pour the sauce over the linguine. Toss and serve immediately.

This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1995.


  1. Julius Tarsi's avatar

    Julius Tarsi

    Can I cook the whole clams in the shell with whole tomatoes at the same time? If yes for how long should they cook?
    Thank you

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